Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

A USA court has set a sentencing date for Manafort

A USA court has set a sentencing date for Manafort

The court will issue a verdict in the first trial of Manafort in which he is accused of Bank fraud and tax evasion. The jury in Virginia found hid the money he made to avoid paying taxes and then lied to get loans when the political party collapsed and his funding dried up.

After his convictions, Manafort struck a plea deal on separate charges in the District of Columbia.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russian Federation probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two US officials.

Manafort also stayed in touch through this year with his Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors say has ties to the same Russian military intelligence operation that allegedly hacked the Democrats during the election. But Judge T.S. Ellis expressed concerns about any further delay of the sentencing. The Eastern District of Virginia, known as the Rocket Docket, has a reputation of moving cases along quickly.

As expected, the judge also dismissed 10 remaining counts against Manafort that had deadlocked the jury at his trial earlier this year.

In court Friday a judge set a sentencing date of February 8. Ellis' dismissal of the counts does not preclude prosecutors from refiling them at a later date if they choose.

Manafort will appear in court in a prison jumpsuit; the judge denied a request he be allowed to wear civilian clothes. Republicans say the Federal Bureau of Investigation made missteps when it applied to a special court for a warrant to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and questioned the FBI's use of a confidential informant who reached out to several Trump campaign officials.

Prosecutors accused him of hiding from USA tax authorities US$16 million he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle, and then lying to banks to secure US$20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

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