(Reuters) - Paul Manafort, a former chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, faces 18 criminal counts in his trial in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, that starts on Tuesday. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.
Half the counts involve bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy, which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each count, although he would, if convicted, likely face a far less severe sentence based on federal sentencing guidelines.
If convicted on all 18 counts, Manafort, 69, could face seven to 12 years in prison based on the guidelines, said Tess Lopez, a California-based sentencing expert. Lopez noted that judges did not always sentence within guideline ranges and could also take extenuating circumstances into account.
Justin Paperny, co-founder of Prison Professors, estimated Manafort could, if convicted on all counts, face eight to 10 years in prison based on the guidelines.
Here is a summary of the charges:
FALSE TAX RETURNS - FIVE COUNTS
Manafort is charged with five counts of signing off on and aiding in the production of false tax returns, one count each for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Prosecutors say Manafort intentionally indicated on the returns that he did not have bank accounts in foreign countries even though he controlled a series of accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere, and underreported his earnings in order to limit his taxable income.
FAILURE TO REPORT FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS - FOUR COUNTS
Prosecutors charged Manafort with four counts of failing to report so-called Foreign Bank Account Reports, or FBARs - one count for each year from 2011 to 2014. Generally, U.S. citizens are required to submit an FBAR report annually if the aggregate value of their foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 during the 12-month period. Prosecutors say Manafort did not submit FBARs even though he had funneled millions of dollars through overseas accounts in Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Seychelles.
LOANS FROM CITIZENS BANK - THREE COUNTS
Prosecutors charged Manafort with bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy related to a $3.4 million loan in March 2016 from Citizens Bank, a Rhode Island-based lender, secured by a condominium in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. Prosecutors say Manafort was not truthful in his application for the loan, falsely claiming that it was not held as a rental property in order to maximize the amount he could borrow from the bank. Manafort was also charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy related to an attempt to get a separate $5.5 million loan from the bank on a brownstone in Brooklyn, which did not materialize.
LOAN FROM BANC OF CALIFORNIA - TWO COUNTS
Prosecutors charged Manafort with bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy for submitting a false statement of assets and liabilities, among other misleading information, to secure a $1 million business loan from Banc of California in 2016.
LOANS FROM THE FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK - FOUR COUNTS
Prosecutors charged Manafort with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of bank fraud conspiracy related to two loans worth $16 million from the Federal Savings Bank, a small Chicago-based lender, in late 2016 and early 2017. Prosecutors say Manafort, along with his then associate Rick Gates, provided the bank with doctored profit and loss statements in order to secure the loans, among other misleading information. Federal lent Manafort $9.5 million against his estate in the Hamptons, an enclave for the rich on the eastern tip of Long Island, and $6.5 million against the Brooklyn brownstone.
Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney
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