DOJ sues Paul Manafort for $3 million over foreign bank accounts
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Paul Manafort on Thursday, seeking almost $3 million in penalties related to the former Trump campaign chair's alleged failure to disclose foreign bank accounts.
Why it matters: Manafort was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after being convicted on criminal tax, conspiracy and bank fraud charges as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Former President Trump pardoned the lobbyist and political consultant in 2020.
Details: The civil suit alleges that Manafort failed to report over 20 foreign bank accounts, which he controlled in countries including Cyprus, the United Kingdom, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in 2013 and 2014.
- The maximum aggregate balance of these accounts exceeded $10,000, the threshold required for reporting, according to the complaint.
- The DOJ says the Treasury sent Manafort notice of the penalties and demand for payment in July 2020, five months before he received his pardon. The penalties remain unpaid, the complaint alleges.
- The penalties and interest add up to a total of $2,976,350.15 which Manafort owes to the government, per the complaint.
What they're saying: Manafort's attorney said that the suit "seeks a money judgment against Mr. Manafort for simply failing to file a tax form.
- "Mr. Manafort was aware the Government was going to file the suit because he has tried for months to resolve this civil matter," the lawyer Jeffrey Neiman claimed. "Nonetheless, the Government insisted on filing this suit simply to embarrass Mr. Manafort."
Don't forget: During his 2018 trial, a jury found Manafort guilty of failing to disclose a foreign bank account in 2012, but did not reach a verdict on the same charge for 2013 and 2014.
- "The Justice Department’s suit signals that federal attorneys have concluded that Trump’s pardon does not cover the 2013 and 2014 charges, as well as the other eight counts the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on," Politico notes.
The big picture: Manafort later pleaded guilty to disseminating false stories on behalf of his pro-Russia, Ukrainian client and not disclosing his lobbying efforts to the Justice Department as required by law.