Judge Signs Off on DOJ Taking Manafort New York Properties

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge signed off on the forfeiture of ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s Trump Tower apartment and his home in the Hamptons on Wednesday, ordering the Justice Department to take control of them later this month.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the order could be amended but would be finalized at Manafort’s yet-to-be scheduled sentencing, or when the government requests it.

The order says the government can take control of the property on or after Oct. 20.

Manafort agreed to forfeit the properties as part of a deal he made with special counsel Robert Mueller in September in an effort to head off a second criminal trial in Washington, D.C. for conspiracy, money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent and obstruction of justice.

A jury in Virginia convicted Manafort on eight counts of financial crimes in August, including bank and tax fraud,  related to his foreign lobbying work on behalf of the pro-Russia Party of Regions in Ukraine.

In addition to agreeing to forfeit five properties, funds in three financial accounts and a life insurance policy, Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of justice for witness tampering.

As part of his deal, Manafort admitted to funneling more than $60 million of unregistered income from his lobbying work into offshore accounts, and concealing more than $15 million in taxes from the IRS.

He also agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s broad investigation of the Kremlin’s effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in then-candidate Donald Trump’s favor, and whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with that effort.

 

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