Trump was basically running two sets of books to distort the amount that he owed the city.
- The auditors were physically blocked from accessing the books.
- A staggering amount of information was lost: 7 months out of 12 months of the data
- Trump offered the auditor’s brother a job.
- A city clerk mis-labeled the report
- Years later they reached an undisclosed settlement.
Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, recently filed financial reports with the Justice Department showing that his lobbying firm earned nearly $17 million for two years of work for a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.
Curiously, that was more than the party itself reported spending in the same period for its entire operation — the national political organization’s expenses, salaries, printing outlays and other incidentals.
.. Mr. Yanukovych was driven from office in the Maidan Revolution of 2014, after having stolen, according to the current Ukrainian government, at least $1 billion. In the years before his fall, Mr. Manafort took lavish payments to burnish the image of Mr. Yanukovych and the Party of Regions in Washington, even as the party acknowledged only very modest spending.
.. In 2012, for example, the party reported annual expenses of about $11.1 million, based on the exchange rate at the time, excluding overhead. For the same year, Mr. Manafort reported income of $12.1 million from the party, the Justice Department filing shows.
.. Handwritten ledgers that surfaced last year indicated that the party had actually spent about $2 billion over the past decade or so, much or most of it illegally. Some outlays like payments to an election official possibly amounted to criminal bribery.
.. the party’s coffers were padded with donations from Ukraine’s ultrawealthy steel and natural gas tycoons, it tried to keep up a populist image and declared only a modest, even minuscule, annual budget.
.. “It means either Manafort is lying, or the Party of Regions was lying,” Serhiy Leshchenko, an investigative journalist and a member of Parliament who has been critical of Mr. Manafort’s work in Ukraine, said in an interview.
.. filing a false campaign finance report was considered an administrative offense akin to a parking ticket and punishable by no more than a fine of a few hundred dollars
.. Anticorruption officials in Ukraine assert that the payments were part of an illegal off-the-books system. Mr. Manafort, who resigned from his campaign post shortly after the article appeared, has denied receiving any cash