Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted by a New York state grand jury on mortgage fraud charges Wednesday, immediately after being sentenced to more than 7 years in prison in D.C. federal court.
The case is being brought by Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, Jr.
Manafort is charged with 16 separate counts in New York state, including mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records.
In a statement, Vance said that a grand jury investigation begun in March 2017 had “yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
Speculation has mounted that Trump could pardon his former campaign chairman on the federal charges, and Vance had been looking at state charges as a way to thwart Trump’s pardon.
Manafort is expected to object to the state charges on double jeopardy grounds.
Vance accuses Manafort of a series of crimes from December 2015 to March 2016.
The allegations center around a supposed scheme whereby Manafort falsified documents to “illegally obtain millions of dollars” through residential mortgage fraud, according to a statement from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Manafort owned an apartment in Manhattan and a Brooklyn brownstone.
The state-level charges appear similar to mortgage fraud schemes that federal prosecutors outlined against Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia case. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months in prison in that case, which partly focused on a series of loans that Manafort had taken out to extract money from his New York properties.
Manafort’s protege Rick Gates was allegedly involved in the federal mortgage fraud. Mueller accused Gates of helping Manafort defraud mortgage lenders by inflating his boss’s and their company’s income.
At one point in the state indictment, Manafort is accused of asking an unnamed individual to sign a letter saying, “Thank you for allowing me to use the AMEX Business Plum card to purchase season tickets for the 2016 baseball season.”
That would appear to be the same letter that was referenced during Manafort’s August 2018 trial.
The New York Times reported last month that Vance was considering filing state charges against the 69-year old political consultant.
Read a copy of the indictment here:
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