Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months in Prison for Tax, Bank Fraud

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
JOSHUA CAPLAN

A federal judge has sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison on tax and bank-fraud charges for hiding millions in income derived from advising Ukraine lawmakers.

Judge T.S. Ellis III imposed the sentence Thursday, capping the only jury trial following indictments stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Addressing the courtroom, Ellis called Mueller’s recommended sentence range of 19-to-24 years for Manafort “excessive.” The judge also noted that the Trump campaign official was not sentenced for matters related to Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

In a brief statement ahead of his sentencing, Manafort asked the judge for compassion, saying that feeling “humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.” The longtime lobbyist said he has had time to reflect on his actions during months of solitary confinement and does not recognize the person he has been made out to be in the media. Manafort also said he hopes to have an opportunity “to show the world who I know I really am.”

“What you saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one: There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved with any collusion with any government official from Russia,” Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told reporters after the sentencing.

Last year, a jury in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted Manafort on eight felonies related to tax and bank fraud charges for hiding foreign income from his work in Ukraine from the IRS and later inflating his income on bank loan applications. Prosecutors have said the work in Ukraine was on behalf of politicians who were closely aligned with Russia, though Manafort has insisted his work helped those politicians distance themselves from Russia and align with the West.

After his conviction, Manafort pleaded guilty to separate charges in the District of Columbia related to illegal lobbying. He faces up to five years in prison on each of two counts to which he pleaded guilty. In the District case, prosecutors said Manafort has failed to live up to the terms of his plea bargain by providing false information to investigators in interviews.

In the Virginia case, neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys have recommended a specific term to the judge in their sentencing memoranda.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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