Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans

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Mr Downing forced Gates to admit he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing bogus personal expenses claims and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and kept an apartment in London for that goal.

After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" "Brown", Gates said, but not before taking a dig by indicating he had forged similar documents for Manafort.

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".

"I'm here. I'm trying to change", he said. But Gates pleaded guilty months later and agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation of Manafort, the only American charged by the special counsel to opt for trial instead of a guilty plea.

Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. "WTF", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email using a common shorthand to show exasperation after learning his projected tax payment for 2014.

Rick Gates testified that he stole money from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and committed an array of crimes with his former boss.

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Gates, who was working on Trump's transition team, testified that Manafort had suggested Stephen Calk as a candidate for Army secretary two weeks after Trump was elected.

As Manafort came under pressure to pay his bills, he was forced to seek loans, the court heard.

Gates said under questioning Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

"I think Gates was a very poor witness".

Manafort, seated at the defence table, stared intently at Gates while his defence attorney hammered him with aggressive questions, but his former business partner carefully avoided his gaze.

Earlier on Tuesday, the prosecution had continued to question Gates, who described how millions of dollars were allegedly funnelled from entities controlled by Ukrainian businessmen into Manafort's shell companies in Cyprus. This apparent reduction in income appears to have prompted Manafort, along with his deputy Rick Gates, to submit false or misleading documents to bank to obtain loans.

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Gates said he falsely labeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in income as loans to reduce Manafort's tax liability. But Gates nonetheless faced aggressive questioning by Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, who at one point asked him, "After all the lies you've told and the fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?"

Manafort's defense team's primary strategy has been to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates, and some observers felt Downing made some headway toward that goal on Tuesday. Under the deal, he admitted to helping Manafort evade taxes, violate US lobbying laws, and hide foreign bank accounts. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts, " Gates said during his second day of testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss.

Gates converted the 2015 DMP P&L to a Word document for Manafort, but there were spacing, font, and other discrepancies between that copy and the original.

Downing repeatedly referred to Gates' extramarital affair with a woman in London - for whom he paid for a flat - as his "secret life".

But as soon as Downing asked about "the secret life of Rick Gates", the witness volunteered, "There was a period of time, nearly ten years ago, when I had a relationship, yes".

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