The suspense is over, and we all now know who the first to be charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller – himself in peril of being sucked into the giant vortex known loosely as the ‘Clinton-Russia Scandal.’
The indictment itself runs thirty-one pages and specifically names Paul Manafort and his aide, Richard Gates.
Allegations run the gamut from conspiracy to launder as much as $21 million and funneling millions more to foreign bank accounts, to working as foreign agents (Ukraine) and making false statements. The indictment contains twelve allegations (crimes or violations of law), however, that number can change over the course of adjudication.
The Grand Jury for the District of Columbia Charges:
At all times relevant to this indictment:
1. Defendants Paul J. Manafort, Jr. (MANAFORT) and Richard W. Gates III (GATES) served for years as political consultants and lobbyists. Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT and GATES acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia). MANAFORT and GATES generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships nk accounts.
2. In furtherance of the scheme, MANAFORT and GATES funnuled millions of dollars in payments into foreign nominee companies and bank accounts, opened by them and their accomplices in nominee names and in various foreign countries, including Cyprus, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (Grenadines), and the Seychelles. MANAFORT and GATES hid the existence of the foreign companies and bank accounts, falsely and repeatedly reporting to their tax preparers and to the United States that they had no foreign bank accounts.
3. In furtherance of the scheme, MANAFORT and GATES concealed from the United States their work as agents of, and millions of dollars in payments from, Ukraine and its political parties and leaders. Because MANAFORT and GATES, among other things, directed a campaign to lobby United States officials on behalf of the government of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, and Ukrainian political parties, they were required by law to report to the United States their work and fees. MANAFORT and GATES did not do so. Instead, when the Department of Justice sent inquiries to MANAFORT and GATES about their activities, MANAFORT and GATES responded with a series of false and misleading statements.
Read the full indictment here or online.