Former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort relied on $18 million in ‘laundered’ funds to live a ‘lavish lifestyle,’ according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment unsealed Monday.
The indictment charges Manafort stashed millions in foreign tax havens including Cyprus, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and the Seychelles.
Then, Manafort relied on those hidden offshore to purchase properties, and borrowed on the the properties ‘to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.’
He ‘spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore nominee accounts to United States vendors,’ according to the indictment, which only lays out some of the loot.
Now he faces losing it all as his assets are seized and a maximum potential sentence of 80 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Paul Manafort ‘spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family’ according to prosecutors. Manafort, then-Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting with Trump and Republican donors, June 9, 2016 in New York City
Team: Paul Manafort took his wife Kathleen to the Republican National Convention in Ohio when he was still the Trump campaign chairman
Family: Manafort has two daughters, Andrea (left, with her husband Christopher) and (right) Jess,a filmmaker. One of his LLCs is called Jesand Investment Corporation and it was used to jointly buy a property in Soho
Prosecutors list page after page of wire transfers from companies in Cyprus and other tax havens for purchases. Transfers to an antique rug store totaled $934,000. A Hamptons landscaper got transfers totaling $656,000. Other transfers funded antiques purchases, clothing in Beverly Hills, payments for three Range Rovers, and a purchase of another Rover.
Among the most significant transfers from the offshore accounts are purchases of three multi-million dollar properties.
Manafort then used these homes to take out big loans – and didn’t always use the loans for the terms spelled out in them.
A total of $75 million flowed through the offshore accounts, according to the feds.
Prosecutors state that if Manafort is convicted, he will have to forfeit property in Brooklyn, Arlington Virginia, and two other New York properties, as well as his life insurance policy.
The Brooklyn property came in for particular scrutiny.
In 2012, Manafort purchased a brownstone for $3 million using an LLC called MC Brookly Holdings. All funding came from a Manafort entity in Cyprus, according to the government.
Manafort, then used the property to borrow cash in 2015 and 2016. One vehicle was a ‘construction loan’ for the property, which is located in Carroll Gardens with a value that rose to $8 million.
Headed to a judge: Paul Manafort was driven by his lawyer on Monday morning to turn himself in to Mueller
But according to prosecutors, Manafort ‘never intended’ to adhere to the contract and limit funds to construction. He wrote his accountant saying the loan ‘will allow me to pay back the [another Manafort apartment] mortgage in full,’ according to the indictment. He also used hundreds of thousands from the construction loan to make a downpayment on yet another property, in California.
Manafort purchased properties worth $15 million since 2006 – the year he signed a $10 million-a-year contract with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska – the Associated Press reported earlier this year.
The indictment does not mention a Trump Tower apartment Manafort and his wife Kathleen purchased for $3.675 million using another LLC called John Hannah LLC.
The indictment also spells out a Soho condo for which an LLC paid $2.85 million from Manafort entities in Cyprus. He rented the well-located unit for ‘thousands of dollars a week’ on Airbnb and other sites. He took advantage of ‘beneficial tax consequences’ of owning it, a possible reference to the homestead exemption.
He wrote his son-in-aw telling him that when a bank appraiser arrived at the property, ‘[r]emember, he believes that you and [Manafort’s daughter] are living there.’ As a result of ‘misrepresentations,’ the bank gave Manafort a $3.185 million loan.
He even paid for housekeeping in New York through Cyprus and Grenadines entities.
Manafort sold his Mount Vernon, Virginia home for $1.4 million.
Manafort also has owned homes in Bridghampton and Palm Beach Gardens.
WHAT HE MIGHT LOSE
NEAR TO THE SEAT OF POWER: BOUGHT FOR $2.75 MILLION
Manafort, who was educated in Washington D.C., has been a long-time resident on the other side of the Potomac, having previously lived in Mount Vernon.
He now owns a large condo in Alexandria, overlooking the river.
In January 2015 he and his wife bought the three-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom unit in this large condo block for $2.75million, through 601 NF Associates LLC.
The 2,779 square foot property is now estimated to be worth $2.9 million.
LOFT IN NEW YORK’S TRENDY SOHO: PAID $2.85 MILLION
As well as a place in the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, the Manaforts own the entire floor of a SoHo building.
Public records show they bought it through one of Manafort’s LLCs, MC Soho Holdings, for $2.85 million in February 2012, with a mortgage for $1.5 million.
The two-bed, two bath property enjoys a huge living area, and sunny views in an area known for its designer clothes outlets and celebrity-friendly restaurants.
In March 2016, the couple became the formal owners of the property in their own name.
They have two mortgages outstanding on it now, both loans from Citizens Bank, totaling $2.042 million.
The court papers filed Monday show that he was renting it out on AirBnB and alleged that he told his son-in-law to mislead a mortgage appraiser that it was his second home.
BROWNSTONE IN BROOKLYN: $3 MILLION FIXER-UPPER
The Manaforts appear to be as much property investors as owners.
In 2012 one of his LLCs, MC Brooklyn Holdings LLC, paid $2.995 million for this four-story unit on Union Street in Carroll Gardens, one of Brookyln’s most prestigious areas. His investment was revealed by local blog, Pardon Me For Asking.
There are permits to turn it into a single-family house and work has been under way for some time although city authorities ordered work to be stopped in January this year, apparently because the applicant for permission to work had ‘withdrawn’.
This is likely to be linked to the change of ownership that month from Manafort’s LLC to him and his wife.
The property now has $6.8 million of mortgages taken out on it, made up of three separate loans all in the couple’s names.
Manafort told the New York Post that he plans to finish renovations by the end of the year, after neighbors complained about the state of the 22-foot wide brownstone.
LONGTIME HAMPTONS RETREAT: UNKNOWN MILLIONS
The Manaforts have owned this large detached property in Bridgehampton, on Long Island, since at least 1984.
It is an estimated 5,600 square feet, set far back from a quiet country road.
It puts the couple in walking distance of the beach and allows them access to the Hamptons social scene – although it is unclear how much the couple participate; the Hamptons can offer a very discreet summer retreat to those who do not wish to be widely seen.
An estimate for its value was not immediately available but a nearby 9,000 square ft property on a similar amount of land sold in 2014 for $11 million, suggesting that a price tag of $5m to $6m could be realistic as a starting point – but the huge investment in the home detailed in the Mueller indictment would have to be taken into account too.
THE PROPERTIES WHICH ARE SAFE… SO FAR
NEIGHBOR TO THE PRESIDENT: PAID $3.6 MILLION
Manafort bought his upper-floor apartment in Trump Tower in November 2006, using an LLC he controlled called John Hannah LLC.
Public records show a purchase price of $3.675 million. The condo is thought to be around 1,500 square feet, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is unclear.
Its estimated current value would be likely to be significantly higher.
It was only in January 2015 that the property was transferred from the LLC to direct ownership by the Manaforts.
But in April that year, the Manaforts took out a $3 million mortgage on the property with UBS.
CHINATOWN HOME FOR HIS DAUGHTER: PAID $2.5 MILLION
Manafort and his daughter Andrea bought a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo apartment in a desirable part of Manhattan’s Chinatown in 2007 for $2.54 million.
Public records suggest that it was jointly purchased by Andrea, now 31, and Jesand Investment Corporation LLC, which is controlled by her father.
The 2,100 square foot home has three outdoor terraces, a built-in wine cooler, and is in a doorman building with its own gym and parking.
Andrea is no longer thought to live in New York but public records do not suggest the Manaforts have yet sold the property.
It was listed for sale in 2013 for $4.85 million and put on the market again for $2.6 million in 2014 but no sale appears to have resulted.
She married her husband Christopher Shand, an HR manager for a restaurant chain, in their native Washington D.C.’s St Regis hotel in May 2015.
FLORIDA HOME HANDY FOR MAR-A-LAGO: BOUGHT FOR $1.5 M
The Manaforts enjoy a waterside 4,000 square foot property in Palm Beach Gardens for a sunshine getaway.
They purchased it in September 2007 for $1.5 million and it is thought to have four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
The address is the one which appears to be most commonly used on company registrations for the Manaforts’ network of LLCs, suggesting it may be their most common place of residence.
It is in easy reach of Mar-a-Lago, the president’s ‘Winter White House’, which is around 20 minutes drive away.
$2.7 MILLION LOAN TO HELP SON-IN-LAW BUY BEL-AIR MANSION
The complexities of Manafort’s property deals involve his son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai, 35.
Public records show that Manafort loaned $2.71million to help yet another LLC buy a Bel-Air property with a 3,746 square feet two-story home set on 1.26 acres of land. It has views over the ocean, making it a prestigious property in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable areas.
The five bed, five bath house appears to have been bought by the LLC, which is one of house developer Yohai’s vehicles, for $8.5 million, public records suggest.
However Yohai went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy late in 2016, The Real Deal reported, and Manafort is now a creditor to his son-in-law, who had three other properties under development which are part of the bankruptcy petition.
DailyMail.com is not adding his $2.7 interest to the estimate value of his property portfolio.
Separately Yohai was involved in a legal case alleging that he was running a Ponzi scheme in New York.
THE D.C. POWER MANSION: SOLD FOR $1.4 MILLION
The Manaforts sold their long-time Mount Vernon mansion in June 2015 for $1.425 million.
The five-bed, 7.5 bathroom property had one of the area’s largest outdoor swimming pools and was where both their daughters were brought up.