When one of the defense lawyers tried to suggest to Mr. Manafort’s tax accountant Monday that Mr. Gates had kept Mr. Manafort in the dark about his own finances, the accountant, Cynthia Laporta, pushed back.
“In most instances, it was clear that Mr. Manafort was aware what was going on,” she testified.
Mr. Gates’s statements reinforced that picture. He said that Mr. Manafort knew it was illegal not to report his foreign bank accounts to the Treasury Department but asked Mr. Gates to help him deceive his accountants so he could conceal income and pay less in taxes.
“I assisted Mr. Manafort in filing false tax returns,” Mr. Gates testified. “We didn’t report the income or the fact that the accounts existed.”
.. He said that some of Mr. Manafort’s income was disguised as loans from 15 shell companies that Mr. Manafort controlled, most of them in Cyprus... Once that income dried up, the government alleges, Mr. Manafort, with Mr. Gates’s help, falsified financial records so he could obtain bank loans to maintain his opulent lifestyle... Gates testified that Mr. Manafort also was paid $4 million a year to help Mr. Yanukovych govern after he was elected president in 2010... while Mr. Yanukovych ran on a platform of integrating with the European Union, while also maintaining good relations with Russia, he eventually pivoted toward Moscow.. Mr. Gates also said that two American lobbying firms — the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs — assisted with their policy consulting efforts. Mr. Mueller’s team has referred cases related to the firms’ work to federal investigators in the Southern District of New York... Mr. Manafort asked Mr. Gates to help arrange inauguration tickets and administration posts — including secretary of the Army — for a banker from whom Mr. Manafort is accused of fraudulently seeking loans, Mr. Gates testified.
.. Emails presented during Mr. Manafort’s trial showed that he sought the favors for Stephen M. Calk, the founder and chief executive of The Federal Savings Bank of Chicago. The bank began issuing loans that eventually totaled $16 million to Mr. Manafort in the days after Mr. Trump’s election based on false information provided by Mr. Manafort.
.. Mr. Gates said he was involved in discussions about nominating Mr. Calk to an economic advisory council.
.. Mr. Gates, 46, admitted Monday that he was guilty of a long list of crimes, including stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mr. Manafort’s accounts by inflating his business expenses. He said that while he was helping Mr. Manafort hide income to evade taxes, and later to inflate his income to obtain bank loans, he was doing essentially the same on his own behalf.
.. In exchange for his cooperation, the government in February agreed to dismiss 22 criminal charges stemming from his involvement in the scheme for which Mr. Manafort is now on trial.
.. sentencing guidelines recommend a prison term of up to six years, he testified that prosecutors have agreed not to object if his defense attorney argues that he should receive probation.
Apollo, the private equity firm, and Citigroup made
large loans last year to the family real estate business
of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser... Even by the standards of Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, the previously unreported transaction with the Kushners was a big deal: It was triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo’s real estate lending arm, securities filings show... It was one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received last year. An even larger loan came from Citigroup.. There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business, say government ethics experts... “This is exactly why senior government officials, for as long back as I have any experience, don’t maintain any active outside business interests,”.. Mr. Kushner steers American policy in the Middle East, for example, but his family company continues to do deals with Israeli investors... Mr. Kushner’s firm has sought investments from the Chinese insurer Anbang and from the former prime minister of Qatar... “Why does Jared have to take the meeting?” he asked. “Is there not somebody else who doesn’t have these financial entanglements who can brainstorm freely with these folks?”.. All of the executives who met with Mr. Kushner have lots to gain or lose in Washington.Apollo has sought ways to benefit from the White House’s possible infrastructure plan. And its executives, including Mr. Harris, had tens of millions of dollars personally at stake in the tax overhaul that was making its way through Washington last year.
Citigroup, one of the country’s largest banks, is heavily regulated by federal agencies and, like other financial companies, is trying to get the government to relax its oversight of the industry.
.. he is not required to disclose the lifeblood of any real estate firm’s business: its lenders and outside investors.
.. Mr. Harris, a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils
.. Early last year, the White House enlisted Mr. Harris and other executives to advise the administration on infrastructure policy.
.. One of the largest investors in Apollo’s real estate trust is the Qatari government’s investment fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.
.. Mr. Kushner’s firm previously sought a $500 million investment from the former head of that Qatari fund for its headquarters at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
.. Shortly after Kushner Companies received the loan from Apollo, the private equity firm emerged as a beneficiary of the tax cut package that the White House championed. Mr. Trump backed down from his earlier pledge to close a loophole that permits private equity managers to pay taxes on the bulk of their income at rates that are roughly half of ordinary income tax rates. The tax law left the loophole largely intact.
Since 1998, the lender has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump,.. Deutsche Bank kept doing business with Mr. Trump after other banks pulled away, and even after Deutsche Bank itself became embroiled in a nasty legal battle over 2005 loans worth more than $600 million to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. After Mr. Trump missed loan payments in 2008, he and Deutsche Bank sued each other. They settled out of court in 2009.
The country’s massive infrastructure project is a blueprint for growth in the developing world.
.. Think of it as a hub-and-spoke model: China, the hub, builds infrastructure in countries around the world, the spokes, in order to facilitate trade. China is building roads, bridges, seaports, and airports in more than 60 countries to facilitate the import of raw material in order to further fuel its own economic growth while it searches for new markets.
.. Unlike the West, China offers cheap loans, doesn’t ask questions about human rights or the environment, and doesn’t export its political ideology... China has a singular advantage: It is offering the countries where it is investing a vision for the future... it seeks to replicate what it has done within its own borders for the past three decades—investments that have helped lift more than 700 million people out of poverty and into the middle class. During that time, globalization has brought low-wage but steady jobs to China in sectors such as manufacturing.