Financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch, indicate that he had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016.
The loans for the 377 Union property totaled 6.5 million and were for a property that Manafort initially bought for less than $3 million.
Between the Hamptons property and the Brooklyn property the Federal Savings Bank loaned Manafort $16 million or 5 percent of all of the bank’s loans, according to records kept by the FDIC.
Manafort owed Oleg Deripaska somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 or 17 million dollars. That’s the same amount of money he borrowed once he lost his job with the Trump campaign.
When he was still employed by the campaign, he tried offering Deripaska private briefings and otherwise monetizing his access and position. Then he got fired.
On Aug. 19, 2016, Manafort left the Trump campaign amid media reports about his previous work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, including allegations he received millions of dollars in payments.
That same day, Manafort created a holding company called Summerbreeze LLC. Several weeks later, a document called a UCC filed with the state of New York shows that Summerbreeze took out a $3.5 million loan on Manafort’s home in the tony beach enclave of Bridgehampton.
This doesn’t look all that complicated. Manafort owed a Russian oligarch approximately 16 million dollars. He’d been stiffing him for a few years. He came up with a desperate idea to repay him which was a priority due to Deripaska’s connections to organized crime. He would offer to work for Trump for no pay. Then he would begin paying Russia back in other ways. A change in the Republican platform. Private briefings on the inner workings of Trump’s circle. But he got exposed and fired. The same day, he began scrounging for $16 million using the connections he’d made to secure the highly dubious loans.
This, too, has been exposed. And now Manafort is up shit’s creek.
In court filings Friday related to Manafort’s bail, federal prosecutors said they have “substantial evidence” that a loan made from the bank to Manafort using the Virginia and Hamptons properties as collateral was secured through false representations made by Manafort, including misstatements of income…
Friday’s filing by prosecutors regarding Manafort’s bail indicates that once again Mueller’s team has interest in the loans.
Mueller’s team told a federal judge in response to the filing that at the next bail hearing, “We can proffer to the Court additional evidence related to this and the other bank frauds and conspiracies, which the Court may find relevant to the bail risk posed by Manafort.”
Trump could argue that he was unaware of Manafort’s hidden agenda. I might even believe him. But he’d have to show some actual anger about what Manafort did. So far, he hasn’t done even that.