Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison

Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in prison.

The 69-year-old was found guilty of eight felony crimes last August, including bank fraud and tax deception.

Judge TS Ellis of the US District Court in Virginia announced the sentence today.

Earlier the Judge overruled a defence request that could have led to some leniency in his sentencing.

He said the veteran Republican political consultant should not receive credit for accepting responsibility for his crimes.

He was convicted by a jury in Alexandria last August.

Mr Manafort was convicted after prosecutors accused him of hiding from the US government millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for Ukraine’s former pro-Russia government.

After pro-Kremlin Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s dismissal, prosecutors said, Mr Manafort lied to banks to secure loans and maintain an opulent lifestyle with luxurious homes, designer suits and even a $US15,000 ostrich-skin jacket.

Mr Manafort faces sentencing in a separate case in Washington on March 13 on two conspiracy charges to which he pleaded guilty last September.

While he faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in the Washington case, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson potentially could stack that on top of the 47-month sentence imposed today.

Jackson on February 13 ruled that Mr Manafort had breached his agreement to co- operate with Mueller’s office by lying to prosecutors about three matters pertinent to the Russia probe, including his interactions with a business partner they have said has ties to Russian intelligence.

Mueller is preparing to submit to US Attorney-General William Barr a report on his investigation into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia and whether Mr Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

Mr Trump has denied collusion and obstruction and Russia has denied election interference.

Mr Manafort is the only one of the 34 people and three companies charged by Mueller to have gone to trial.

Several others including former campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen have pleaded guilty, while longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone has pleaded not guilty.

Gates, a key witness against Manafort, has yet to be sentenced due to his ongoing co-operation with prosecutors.

Mr Mueller’s charges led to the stunning downfall of Mr Manafort, a prominent figure in Republican Party circles for decades who also worked as a consultant to such international figures as former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych.

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