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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

One of Paul Manafort's accountants admitted Friday she may have committed a crime by filing tax returns for him that she thought contained false information, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The information Cindy Laporta was suspicious about on the tax returns is related to the former Trump campaign chairman’s international consulting business. Laporta is the first witness who has immunity to testify in the trial — and her testimony could be critical to the effort to prosecute Manafort on charges of tax and bank fraud.

What made her suspicious:

  • She doubted that $2.4 million worth of funds Manafort said he received as a loan from international businesses was actually a loan. The funds were coming from Manafort’s customers, which she found suspect.
  • Laporta also said Rick Gates, Manafort’s associate who pleaded guilty in a related case this year, told her in 2015 to reduce Manafort’s income by not counting a loan, which she did. She said she found the move “not appropriate,” adding that “we can’t pick and choose what’s a loan and [what's] income.”
  • When Laporta asked for documentation of the loans, she did not receive the usual extensive documentation in a stack of papers with fine print terms, and instead received one or two pages. She said she found that unusual.
  • She also revealed it was Manafort's own signature on the loan documents, not Gates', which is important since Manafort's defense has been trying to peg Gates as the interlocutor in the financial wrongdoing, per The Washington Post.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
59 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

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