October 30, 2017
Photo: Paul Manafort appearing on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ (Screen capture)
WASHINGTON, USA (Caribbean News Now) — In an indictment unsealed on Monday, the Grand Jury for the District of Columbia has charged Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign official Rick Gates with laundering 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 St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“In total, more than $75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts,” the indictment alleges.
According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates owned or controlled 17 domestic entities, 12 in Cyprus and two in SVG – Global Endeavour Inc. and Jennet Ltd – which were used in the scheme.
Included in wire transfers caused to be sent by Manafort between 2008 and 2014, was a total of US$1.4 million originating from SVG, described by Newsweek on Sunday as a “prime money-laundering destination.”
“Manafort did not pay taxes on this income, which was used to make the purchases,” the indictment states.
In particular, to minimize public disclosure of their activities, Manafort and Gates arranged for more than $2 million to be paid to US lobbying firms from offshore accounts associated with their foreign entities, including Global Endeavour Inc. in SVG.
According to the indictment, both Manafort and Gates, as US citizens, failed to comply with reporting obligations to the United States in relation to foreign bank accounts over which they had authority – whether or not the accounts are set up in the names of nominees.
In fact, in each of Manafort’s tax filings for 2008 through 2014, Manafort represented falsely that he did not have authority over any foreign bank accounts. Manafort and Gates repeatedly and falsely represented in writing to Manafort’s tax preparer that Manafort had no authority over foreign bank accounts, knowing that such false representations would result in false Manafort tax filings.
In the 12-count indictment, Manafort and Gates are charged with conspiracy against the United States; conspiracy to launder money; failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts; acting as unregistered agents of a foreign principal; and making false and misleading statements.