Manafort’s wife was probably not very happy when she found out that her husband’s antics mean that she will have to move from the home where they live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (BallenIsles). A judge tossed Manafort’s sweet deal after the president’s former campaign manager lied. Instead, the former campaign manager sent vital information about Mueller’s investigation back to POTUS via his own attorney.
In the beginning, Manafort pled guilty to financial crimes intended to hide money from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). He bartered with Mueller, offering “his participation in and knowledge of all criminal activities.” That included both the Trump campaign and his Ukrainian work.
Part of that deal included the former campaign manager and political consultant forfeiting five of his properties. The agreement let the couple remain in the $22 million 5,231-square-foot home where they lived. Manafort took his name off of the deed, just to make sure that home was safe.
Now though, the government is free to seize that home, too. After all, the political consultant violated his plea agreement over and over when he lied repeatedly to Mueller’s people in the worst way. One of Manafort’s attorneys took information back to the president’s legal team.
Florida has some of the strongest protections for property owners. However, Miami criminal defense attorney specializing in federal white-collar crime, Frank Rubino said:
‘If the government can show the property was purchased from illegal activity, then the government can go against the property. The homestead (exemption) is not protection.’
Palm Beach Garden criminal defense lawyer with a specialty of federal court cases said:
‘I think in the eyes of the court she would be an innocent third party. There was a time when the federal government was more aggressive about forfeitures. Even if they could prove the money was tainted, once they took all the other properties … I don’t believe they will ever go after that even if they could. The worst thing you can do is to double-cross them. You not only don’t get the reduction, you can get charged with obstruction and you get an enhancement.’
In 2007, Manafort paid $1.5 million for the couple’s home in BallenIsles. The former consultant sent his firm $455,000 from then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s party. Manfort apparently forgot to register as a representative of a foreign country, which is illegal.
Mueller can probably prove that the consultant used laundered money for major renovations to the home where the couple currently resides. Manafort spent $432,487 to remodel the master bathroom and add a guest house.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.*