$3.2 Million In Fines Slapped On Trump Goon For Secret Foreign Accounts

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Paul Manafort, who was among those who spent time leading Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president, will now be obliged to pay $3.2 million in financial penalties connected to foreign financial activity he didn’t disclose as required under federal rules in years before 2016. Some of the latest developments — particularly a judge approving the agreement for the fines — were reported by a longstanding watchdog journalism site, Florida Bulldog.

The arrangement follows a civil suit filed against Manafort by the Justice Department in April 2022, well after Trump left office as president. When Donald was still in the White House, he provided the ex-campaign head with a pardon, cutting off a years-long prison sentence connected to other financial misdeeds for which Manafort was criminally charged, although he was already out of actual custody amid reactions to the spread of COVID-19 inside and outside of prisons. The civil suit, though, didn’t constitute a criminal case, instead threatening Manafort with the financial penalties for which he is now liable and was therefore seemingly outside the reach of the pardon Trump provided, rather than going against legal precedents against what’s called double jeopardy.

At the time of the earlier lawsuit, a lawyer for Manafort tried to discredit the case as meant to simply disparage the former Trump campaign official and longtime political operative, although Manafort’s defense and the Justice Department evidently settled on a financial settlement instead of going to trial, the latter of which would have likely suggested Manafort’s team had a strong belief he would prevail. Attorney Jeffrey Neiman, representing Manafort, said in 2022: “Mr. Manafort was aware the government was going to file the suit because he has tried for months to resolve the civil matter. Nonetheless, the government insisted on filing the suit simply to embarrass Mr. Manafort.” Past reporting from The Wall Street Journal identified more than 20 financial accounts tied to Manafort as at issue in the Justice Department’s case, while the more recent info from Florida Bulldog cited a larger grouping of over three dozen companies and accounts.

Florida Bulldog also pointed to Manafort evidently paying enough to deal with over $6 million worth of tax liens from federal authorities that stemmed from financial obligations he originally incurred for years both before and after his time leading Trump’s campaign. Manafort isn’t the only ally that Trump pardoned while he was in office who has nonetheless faced further legal problems. Steve Bannon, who was charged at the federal level for his role in a crowdfunding scheme ostensibly in support of a wall on the southern border from which money was taken for organizers’ personal expenses, was charged again in New York after a Trump pardon.