PECULIAR

Manafort Borrowed From Trump Allies, Put Millions in Shell Company to Hide It

According to a report in The New York Times, on the day that Paul Manafort stepped down as chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, papers were recorded that created a shell company that would be controlled by Manafort. The company would soon receive $13 million in loans from two business with ties to Trump. The purpose of the loans is not clear in public records, but some appeared to be part of an effort to shield Manafort from a financial crisis stemming from failed investments with his son-in-law. One of the recent loans, according to the Times, was for $3.5 million in September from the private lending unit of Spruce Capital, which has a Ukrainian connection through the billionaire Alexander Rovt. Rovt financially backs Spruce, whose co-founder Joshua Crane has been a developer of Trump hotel projects. “There is nothing out of the ordinary about them,” Manafort said of the loans, “and I am confident anyone who isn’t afflicted with scandal fever will come to the same conclusion.”