Paul Manafort’s trial continued Tuesday, with his former deputy and business partner, Rick Gates, claiming that the ex-Trump campaign chairman instructed him to falsify documents to get bank loans approved. Gates also said he lied on bank-loan applications by overstating Manafort’s income by $6 million, and helped him alter financial statements to make it seem like he was earning a net profit. He testified that political work for Manafort dried up in late 2015, and his consulting firm essentially stopped earning money. Manafort then sought bank loans and help from Gates to do the paperwork, Gates said. Before late 2015, Gates said a total of $5.8 million had flowed through Manafort’s “shelf companies” in Cyprus, including Black Sea View Limited, Peranova Holdings, and Leviathan Advisors Limited. According to his account, Ukrainian oligarchs also used shell companies to make consulting payments.
Gates later told the court that he may have “improperly” submitted personal expenses to President Trump’s inauguration committee, which could have led to an improper reimbursement. He also confirmed 2013 meeting notes that stated “Trump” was supposed to receive Yankees season tickets from Manafort. The court didn’t establish which “Trump” Gates and Manafort were referring to at the meeting. The tickets were allegedly “never received.” While being cross-examined by Manafort’s defense team, Gates admitted to having an extramarital affair about a decade ago, but denied using money embezzled from Manafort’s overseas account to fly first class to London and to pay for an “apartment he kept there for trysts.”