Gates Testifies He Helped Manafort Fudge Info To Obtain Loans

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HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Rick Gates, the star witness in the case against Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Gates, who is cooperating with prosecutors in the trial of Trump's former campaign chairman, testified that Manafort directed him to report overseas income as loans in order to lower his taxable income.

Among the crimes Gates testified to doing with Manafort include: knowingly hiding 15 foreign accounts from the government; stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing false expense reports, which were paid from Manafort's offshore accounts; and filing false tax returns, in which the men under-reported their income, created fake loans and failed to disclose their foreign accounts.

But she said she was under the impression that Mr Manafort had been directing his deputies' actions and "knew what was going on".

Manafort's attorneys have signalled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort.

During the first part of his testimony on Monday, Gates admitted to shielding millions of dollars in over a dozen offshore accounts from United States tax collectors - all at Manafort's direction, according to Gates.

Jurors will hear again Monday from Cynthia Laporta, an accountant who testified August 3 about going along with phony, backdated documents meant to help lower Manafort's tax bills and secure real-estate loans even as his personal debt rose.

Rick Gates has testified that he helped his former boss Paul Manafort commit financial crimes.

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"Mr. Manafort requested I make wire transfers from the foreign accounts", Gates said.

The trial marks the first test of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the president's election campaign and Russian agents.

Andres said he was entitled to show the jury why Manafort was getting tens of millions of dollars in payments. Gates also worked for the Trump election campaign. And there was a reason why prosecutors wanted Gates to paint himself in such a negative light on the witness stand: they wanted to get everything out in the open and demonstrate that at this point, Gates is hiding nothing and is coming clean about his crimes.

Gates admitted in testimony on Friday that he had lied to Laporta, as well as other accountants and Manafort's bookkeeper. In questioning Laporta on Monday, a prosecutor asked the accountant about a $10 million loan purportedly received by Manafort from Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in 2006. Kerik, on the other hand, isn't putting any weight on Gates' words because of his motivation for testifying.

Since the trial started before US District Judge T.S. Ellis last Tuesday, Manafort's lawyers have kept their cross-examinations brief and at times refrained from attempting to rebut damaging testimony in detail.

Laporta thought that was odd, so she asked Gates for information about the $2.4 million Manafort was supposedly owed.

But Mr Manafort is not charged with helping the Kremlin.

In one exchange, Downing questioned Laporta about her communications with Gates regarding a bank loan Manafort wanted to apply for in 2015.

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