New York Charges Manafort With Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Minutes After Federal Prison Sentencing
Unlike federal crimes, President Trump can’t pardon state charges.
Minutes after he was sentenced in federal court, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office unsealed a 16-count indictment against Paul Manafort involving a “yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme.”
Manafort, 69, allegedly falsified business records in order to illegally obtain “millions of dollars,” according to the D.A’s office. Manafort faces decades in prison on the charges. Unlike federal crimes, the former Trump campaign chairman cannot be pardoned by the president for state charges.
The announcement came after a federal judge in Washington, D.C. sentenced him to more than three years in prison for a combined total of 7.5 years behind bars prison in two separate federal cases. Manafort was sentenced on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office concerning tax and bank fraud, and an illegal foreign lobbying conspiracy.
The New York indictment was filed last week by a grand jury and unsealed on Wednesday. The charges include residential mortgage fraud, attempted residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and scheme to defraud in the first degree.
Manafort’s attorneys are likely to mold a defense against Wednesday’s indictment on the grounds the charges are “double jeopardy”—prosecuting the same person twice for the same crime, in violation of the Constitution—despite prosecutors in Vance’s office telling The New York Times that they are confident they will seal a conviction.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, “I thank our prosecutors for their meticulous investigation, which has yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
Prosecutors in 2017 began looking into loans Manafort received from two banks, according to the Times.
Manafort has yet to comment on the New York charges, but on Wednesday apologized to the federal judge who sentenced him.
“I am sorry for what I have done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” he said.