What Are the Tax Fraud Charges against Paul Manafort?

The tax fraud trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has recently concluded, and jurors are in the midst of deliberating on whether to find him guilty on some or all of the 18 charges alleged by the Justice Department. Read on to learn about the crimes with which Manafort has been charged, and contact a seasoned Tyler tax attorney with any additional questions.

Paul Manafort has been working for prominent Republican politicians as far back as the 1970s, when he worked for Gerald Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign. Manafort began a lobbying and consulting firm after helping Ronald Reagan get elected in 1980. The firm focused on representing international leaders, many of whom were the subject of controversy. By the early 2000s, Manafort had begun working in the Ukraine, specifically with the pro-Russian Party of Regions. Manafort’s candidate was successfully elected in 2010, but was ousted in 2014 in response to widespread protest. Nevertheless, Manafort earned over $60 million during his time in the Ukraine, according to federal investigators. He began working—for free—for the Trump campaign in the spring of 2016, but stepped down during the summer when he faced increasing scrutiny over whether the payments he received while working in the Ukraine were legal.

Manafort was indicted in October of 2017, with additional charges against him being added in February and June of 2018. The charges were split between two trials. The first trial, which recently concluded, centered on claims of tax and bank fraud. Specifically, Manafort was facing 18 counts for four separate crimes. Prosecutors claim that Manafort set up a network of offshore companies and accounts, where he funneled the money he earned abroad. They claimed that Manafort spent millions of that money on pricey antiques, clothing, real estate, and vehicles as well as making fraudulent “loans” to American companies he operated.

The indictment claimed that Manafort filed false income tax returns when he failed to report this money on his tax returns. They also claim that Manafort violated the law by failing to disclose that he had money stashed abroad by filing an FBAR form (the form required by the IRS when a taxpayer has foreign bank or financial accounts). The remaining counts focused on claims that Manafort lied when seeking bank loans. At trial, Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates testified that he and Manafort knowingly committed numerous crimes, such as failing to report numerous foreign bank accounts per Manafort’s instruction. Gates has already pled guilty to numerous crimes, including charges of embezzling from Manafort, and testified as part of a deal with federal prosecutors. The jury is still in the midst of deliberations at the time of this writing, and Manafort could face a federal prison sentence lasting the remainder of his lifetime.

If you’re facing tax issues in Texas, such as a tax audit, bank levy, or charges of tax fraud, get help in fighting these charges by contacting the knowledgeable and aggressive Tyler tax attorneys at the Scammahorn Law Firm for a consultation at 903-595-1000, with additional offices in Dallas.