Special Counsel Mueller's investigation may not have turned up any evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia, but it did lead to the indictment by a federal grand Jury of Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates on October 27, 2017 on 12 counts of alleged financial crimes. The charges include conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agent Registration (FARA) statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign banks and financial accounts. The indictments were announced Monday October 30 after leaks from the sealed indictment October 27, the filing date on the document. Real estate in New York will play a major roll in how the charges against Manafort proceed. Evidence suggests that from 2006 to 2016, Manafort and Gates wired more than $21 million into the United States from offshore accounts, all income on which they paid no federal income tax as well as evaded taxes on millions of dollars they earned as lobbyists and consultants for Ukrainian officials.
Manafort owns two New York City homes Manafort bought using offshore accounts as well as a home in Bridgehampton. One, a brownstone at 377 Union Street in Brooklyn, is currently the subject of a separate money laundering investigation in New York State and the other is a condominium at 29 Howard Street in Soho. The wires for those purchases totaled $4.5 million were also allegedly not reported on Manafort’s tax return. Manafort and Gates, through a series of Cyprus and Grenadines-based accounts, wired more than $5.4 million to an unnamed home improvement company in the Hamptons. Another $656,000 was wired to a separate landscaping business, also in the Hamptons. If Manafort and Gates are ultimately convicted, they would likely be forced to surrender the properties involved in the New York properties mentioned in the alleged scheme; in addition to other homes Palm Beach Gardens; Arlington, Virginia, and California, amongst others.
377 Union Street, Brooklyn
The indictment alleges that Manafort used funds obtained by out taking construction loans to renovate his townhouse at 377 Union Street to make a downpayment on a property in California. It also alleges that he wanted to pay of other mortgages with the funds. He has reportedly taken out construction permits for the property as recently as October 24, 2017. Manafort purchased the property for roughly $3 million in 2012.
29 Howard Street, SoHo
The indictment alleges that Manfort claimed that the Howard Street condo was a secondary residence for his daughter and son-in-law when at the time he was using it to be rented out on Airbnb and other short-term rental opportunities (2015, 2016). The indictment alleges he took advantage of beneficial tax consequences with owning the rental property. He also misrepresented the property to the bank in order to receive a $3.185 million mortgage.
174 Jobs Lane, Bridgehampton
The indictment alleges that Manafort spent millions on landscaping and property maintenance at his Bridgehampton home via wire transfers from Cyprus and Grenadines-based accounts. Allegations include Manafort paid $5.4 million paid to a Hamptons home improvement company and more than $820,000 paid to 2 separate Hamptons landscapers between 2008 and 2014, as outlined in the indictment. The home is a 10 bedroom, 6 bathroom colonial spread over 5,574 SF and was built in 2001. It has an assessed value of $1,928,700.