October 19, 2018 3:22 pm
Updated: October 19, 2018 5:42 pm

Paul Manafort to be sentenced Feb. 8 on bank fraud and tax charges

WATCH: Court sketches show Paul Manafort in a wheelchair in a Virginia courtroom on Friday, where the judge set a sentencing date for Feb. 8, 2019 on bank fraud and tax charges.


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – U.S. prosecutors on Friday agreed to drop criminal charges against Paul Manafort that a jury deadlocked on in August, as a federal judge set a Feb. 8 date for the former Trump campaign manager’s sentencing on charges of bank fraud and filing false tax returns.

READ MORE: Paul Manafort pleads guilty, agrees to co-operate with Mueller investigation

Prosecutors had initially favored waiting until Manafort finished cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election before addressing the remaining charges.

But U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis rejected the timetable so he could move forward with sentencing Manafort, who appeared in court in a wheelchair and was said to be suffering significant health issues.

WATCH: Trump refuses to answer if he will pardon Manafort

Story continues below

“I have not heard any estimation from the government of when his cooperation will be complete,” Ellis said, referring to the special counsel investigation. “I’m not willing to go on endlessly” before sentencing Manafort, he added.

Uzo Asonye, a lawyer for the government, told Ellis it was not clear when Manafort’s cooperation would be completed. The Special Counsel’s Office also said it would not oppose Ellis’ new timetable.

READ MORE: Paul Manafort forfeits $7M estate, Trump Tower condo, bank accounts under plea deal

Ellis dropped the charges on which the jury had deadlocked but did so without prejudice, meaning the prosecution could reintroduce them at a later date. He set the Feb. 8 sentencing date for the tax and bank fraud charges on which Manafort was convicted.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is shown in this booking photo in Alexanderia, Virginia, July 12, 2018.

Alexandria Sheriff's Office/Handout

At his trial in August, Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict on 10 other charges, including failure to register foreign bank accounts and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, so a mistrial was declared on those.

Ellis’ decision to push ahead with sentencing could result in Manafort receiving a higher prison sentence at first, which prosecutors could then seek to have reduced if he furthers the Mueller probe.

Several sentencing experts predicted Manafort, a 69-year-old former political consultant, would receive a prison term of about 10 years.

WATCH: Trump feels ‘badly’ about Manafort guilty verdict, but says ‘doesn’t involve me’

Manafort is the most senior of President Donald Trump’s former aides to be convicted in Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Prosecutors accused him of hiding from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle, and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

The charges largely predated Manafort’s tenure on Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016.

After months of refusing to assist Mueller’s probe, Manafort finally took a plea deal in September and agreed to cooperate in return for reduced charges.

READ MORE: Paul Manafort`s guilty plea could shine light on possible Trump campaign Russia ties

WATCH: Manafort found guilty on eight of 18 charges

Manafort appeared in court in green prison uniform that said “Alexandria inmate.” He was in a wheelchair and had a bandage on his right foot. A source familiar with his health said he had a “serious medical condition related to his diet.”

Manafort had asked permission to wear a suit but Ellis rejected the request, saying he should be treated no differently from other defendants in custody post-conviction. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe Editing by David Alexander and Tom Brown)

© 2018 Thomson Reuters

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.