Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

Paul Manafort

Welch's testimony came as prosecutors sought to refocus the courtroom's attention on Manafort's alleged financial crimes after his defense attorneys spent hours trying to undermine the credibility of their star witness, former Manafort business partner Rick Gates.

"They failed to check the box that Mr. Manafort had a foreign bank account", IRS agent Michael Welch said, later adding: "He should have marked the box, 'Yes'".

Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant Morgan Magionos used charts, emails from Manafort to his lawyers in Cyprus, and other corroborating documents to detail how Manafort funneled roughly $15 million from hidden offshore accounts to purchase home electronic installations, real estate, fancy clothing, such as the now-infamous $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket, and other luxuries from 2010 to 2014. He admitted to committing fraud on a massive scale and extorting money from Manafort, along with assisting his former boss in filing false tax returns and bank fraud.

Testimony resumes Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET in Alexandria, Virginia, and the government is expected to rest by Friday. He agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI.

Day seven of the Paul Manafort trial took a technical turn Wednesday, an indication that prosecutors could be wrapping up their case against the former Trump campaign chairman.

Gates said he did not.

Gates testified on Tuesday that he once had an extramarital affair that involved maintaining a London apartment.

She said Manafort's passport was used to open many of them in USA dollars, euros and British pounds. These questions about Gates' extramarital tryst also carried faint echoes of Trump, coming less than a month after the release of a tape in which Trump can be heard discussing buying the rights to the story of a woman who claimed to have had an affair with him.

Manafort, who helped Republicans Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan reach the White House, was Mr Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016. His former accountant Cindy Laporta has already testified that she participated in that fraud, as did his ex-employee Rick Gates. They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

On Tuesday, Downing asked how the jury could believe Gates "after all the lies you told and fraud you committed".

The FBI forensic accountant, Morgan Magionos, told jurors that bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.

While Gates and others have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and legal experts say he may be holding out hopes of a pardon from Trump.

During his testimony Monday, Gates admitted he had embezzled money from Manafort by creating false expense reports on his own behalf.

In December 2016, Manafort sent an "urgent" email to Gates including Calk and Calk's son on a list of people Manafort wanted to receive invitations to Trump's inauguration.

After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" "They may think he's a sleazebag - but that's not going to make them overturn how they view the documents", the former attorney said.

But prosecutor Greg Andres followed up by suggesting that Gates and Manafort were not fully truthful. Manafort welcomed more than $65 million from Ukrainian political backers' foreign entities into his own secret Cypriot and other offshore accounts during Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's four years in office, according to Magionos.

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