ALEXANDRIA, VA — Paul Manafort purchased season tickets for the New York Yankees from 2010 through 2017, with at least some of those seasons in the “Legends Suite,” according Irfan Kirimca, the senior director of ticket operations for the Yankees.
A ticket agreement admitted by prosecutors from 2014 showed that Manafort had purchased tickets for a “Legends Suite,” which “provides first-class accommodations,” according to the MLB website. Those accommodations include a private entrance, cushioned seats, all inclusive food and in-seat wait service.
In a humorous moment, prosecutor Brandon Van Grack on Friday asked Kirimca to explain what the New York Yankees is, prompting Kirimca to explain that it’s a Major League Baseball team.
Evidence about Manafort’s season tickets has slowly trickled in throughout Manafort’s Virginia trial, and Friday’s testimony from Kirimca completed the circle.
As an employee from the Federal Savings Bank testified earlier on Friday, Manafort had a $300,000 outstanding balance on his credit card when he applied for a loan as of February 2016. Manafort’s former deputy Rick Gates testified earlier this week that in order to explain away this liability, Manafort had Gates write a letter claiming that he borrowed Manafort’s card to purchase the tickets but had not yet paid him back.
Kirimca testified Friday afternoon that the Yankees have no record of Gates purchasing tickets and that Manafort was a season ticket holder through 2017.
In an email with Yankees employees in March of 2016 shown in court, Manafort confirmed enthusiastically that he and his wife would be attending opening day for the team that year.
An email chain from November 2011 indicated that at that time, Manafort was paying for his tickets with money from foreign accounts. Manafort told an employee for the Yankees to expect a $226,800 wire from one of the foreign accounts he allegedly used as payment for his 2012 season tickets.
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