After the lunch break in Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial on Wednesday afternoon, lawyers for the prosecution called two witnesses who detailed that the former Trump campaign chairman spent thousands of dollars on luxury clothing using wire transfers from international bank accounts.
Maximillian Katzman entered the Alexandria courtroom in a well-tailored navy suit, with a navy striped tie and a white pocket square. Katzman was the manager for his father’s tailoring business Alan Couture while Manafort was a customer there. Although Katzman described Manafort as “one of our top five clients” he said that Manafort was sometimes late in paying bills. According to data collected by the prosecution and confirmed by Katzman, Manafort spent more than $900,000 in Alan Couture between 2010 and 2014.
Katzman said that Manafort paid for the clothing with an international wire transfer and that he was the only client at Alan Couture who did so.
However, Ronald Wall, the top financial officer at House of Bijan, said that Manafort was not the only customer there who paid via wire transfer. Wall confirmed that Manafort spent more than $300,000 at House of Bijan between 2010 and 2012.
Because Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over the case, made a point to prevent the prosecution from submitting several images of the clothing and other luxury items purchased by Manafort, lawyers for special counsel Robert Mueller only submitted photos showing the Alan Couture and House of Bijan labels. It appears the jury and the public will not see other items in Manafort’s closet, such as a $21,000 watch. However, Wall said that Manafort purchased a black limited edition “Royal Way” watch from the House of Bijan.
In brief testimony, the controller of a Mercedes Benz dealership in Alexandria, Virginia, described Manafort purchasing a car using a wire transfer to pay the balance due, after a trade in, of $62,750. The use of a wire transfer was unusual but not unheard of, Daniel Opsut testified.