Paul Manafort’s $46 Million Plea Deal

Mueller’s office just released a superseding complaint as part of a plea deal with Paul Manafort. He will plead guilty to ConFraudUs tied to his FARA violations and obstruction tied to his witness tampering. The Special Counsel’s office promises “additional information … in the near future.” I guess we’ll learn then whether this involves cooperation (for all we know, Manafort is sitting in front of the grand jury right now).

While Manafort will get off without many new charges in the DC case, he’ll lose his (ostrich skin) shirt. Here’s what is listed in forfeiture.

The property subject to forfeiture by PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., includes, but is not limited to, the following listed assets:

a. The real property and premises commonly known as 377 Union Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231 (Block 429, Lot 65), including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

b. The real property and premises commonly known as 29 Howard Street, #4D, New York, New York 10013 (Block 209, Lot 1104), including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

c. The real property and premises commonly known as 174 Jobs Lane, Water Mill, New York 11976, including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

d. All funds held in account number XXXXXX0969 at The Federal Savings Bank, and any property traceable thereto;

e. All funds seized from account number XXXXXX1388 at Capital One N.A., and any property traceable thereto; and

f. All funds seized from account number XXXXXX9952 at The Federal Savings Bank, and any property traceable thereto;

g. Northwestern Mutual Universal Life Insurance Policy 18268327, and any property traceable thereto;

h. All funds held in account number XXXX7988 at Charles A. Schwab & Co. Inc., and any property traceable thereto; and

i. The real property and premises commonly known as 1046 N. Edgewood Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201, including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto.

This adds both the Federal Savings Bank account listed for forfeiture in the EDVA case, and the Capital One case. And these are subject to both civil and criminal forfeiture, so Trump can’t pardon them away.

Update: On Twitter, several people note that with this forfeiture, the Mueller investigation just more than paid for itself.

60 replies
  1. Will Twiner says:

    so, not just a pauper, but a jailed pauper. If this was the “get”, what was the original stick he was beaten with?

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Clearly something worse than 10 years and $46m in cash and prizes. Potential criminal exposure of his wife and kids? Being released outside the Russian embassy?

      • Mary Smith says:

        Come to think of it, Trump Tower could be turned into a new “internment camp” stripped of all the nicest things and become locked cells for the lot of them.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          Per Josh Gerstein, Paulie admitted to all the EDVA bank fraud charges, which will go away under the deal but could be resurrected by states, and agreed to forfeit the apartment in the Tower and another one in NY not listed in the superseding information.

  2. Bob Conyers says:

    What is the chance that Manafort has a whole lot more cash hidden somewhere?

    I assume the federal prosecutors are very good at tracking this stuff down, and also good at keeping tabs on his future financial dealings, but I don’t know if that means they are likely to get 100% or just 75% of some hypothetical pot of gold.

    Does the fact that he is guilty of this kind of fraud put him on some kind of IRS or Treasury list which means all of his financial transactions are being watched?

    • Drew says:

      I don’t know, but someone mentioned that the tax fraud convictions obligate him to amend his returns and he is at least susceptible to judgments for the extra amount of tax + interest + penalties on that–which could be quite substantial.  This ripples down into state returns (including non-resident places where he had stuff like rental income) it gives various jurisdictions a rationale for poking around if they are so inclined.

    • scribe says:

      The problem with that is getting at the cash hidden elsewhere.

      Back in the day a soldier in my unit exploited his position to engage in a little drug-dealing.  (Think the movie “Buffalo Soldiers”  which I thought was based on true events.)  In the real-life case, the drug-dealing soldier got caught and was court-martialled, getting 20 years (reduced to 7 on appeal).  He also had about $250k stashed in a Swiss bank account, beyond the reach of US Authorities.  Problem for him was, he was now a convicted felon having been dishonorably discharged.  Even assuming he could get a passport, most civilized countries would take one look at that record and deny him entry.  (E.g., Canada will deny US citizens entry for an old driving under the influence conviction, let alone dope-dealing.)  So, no way he could get to Switzerland to pick up his cash.  And likely no way he could get that dough back into the country without it being seized – at that time one had to declare amounts in excess of $5000 being brought in, when entering the country.

      After some period of time of inactivity the Swiss would likely have declared his account abandoned, and take it for themselves.  Any doubts as to why/how the Swiss and their banks got to be so prosperous?

      So, despite Manafort’s greater level of sophistication, I doubt he’ll be able to reach any hidden stash (even assuming he has one and has been able to hide it from the feds).

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Interesting detail, thanks.

        I’m wondering now if we’ll start getting emails that go “Hello friend. My name is Pal Mannafort and I have $56 million in a Ukrania banking account that I am needing help in the transferring. You have a bank account that I may be of assistance in using…”

      • D G says:

        One doesn’t need to enter a Swiss bank branch to move money. Banks domiciled outside of the United States, as a rule, don’t want to touch American citizens due to “FACTA”. (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act)

        That being said, a proxy could be in place to facilitate bank transactions or a second passport.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      At a minimum, it means he’ll be audited until the second coming, and will have less credibility than he would have had during any prior audits.

      I would also suspect he’ll have his US passports seized and be denied another: his crimes relate directly to his international travel and clientele.

      As you surmise, his financial transactions above a certain dollar amount will likely be flagged for review.  Guys like Paulie rarely change their spots, though it is probable his notoriety will shoo away most would be clients.

  3. pseudonymous in nc says:

    One count of ConFraudUS, one of witness tampering. No specific FARA charges.

    I think this satisfies the secondary intent of Mueller’s team to take away Paulie’s ill-gotten gains.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That is the natural and logical consequences of his actions.  Like Trump, he never expected to deal with them, always forcing others to bear their burdens.  For once, what goes around, comes around.

      Here’s hoping there’s a fair bit of cooperation involved in all this, because Paulie was always doing someone else’s bidding.

  4. Jerry says:

    So what happens now? Manafort goes to the slammer and sits and waits for Trump to pardon him? And then Mueller….??

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nice, feel the pain touch with that life insurance policy forfeiture. I wonder who owned it and who the beneficiary was.

  6. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I assume that Paulie will be bailed today to await sentencing, which will give him time to give a personal farewell to his many homes.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Lawyer us this, bmaz, if you please: what’s the difference between a “criminal information” and a “statement of the offense”?

      • Frank Probst says:

        He’s been found guilty of cheating on his federal income taxes, which means he almost certainly cheated on his state income taxes.  Wouldn’t that be a separate crime?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. And these clearly are separate from the critical federal conduct. The question is what other state crimes are available.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        I’ve seen internet lawyers say that state tax issues dodge double jeopardy claims pretty easily, since the filing of state and federal taxes are separate issues, even if they’re talking about the same money.

        Of course, internet lawyers are about as reliable as, um, internet lawyers so I’m curious if that’s valid or not.

        • Bob Conyers says:

          No offense, by the way. I know you’re a lawyer on the internet, but I wouldn’t refer to you as an internet lawyer, if you get my drift.

        • SteveB says:

          “”get my drift” is one of the 30 modes of journalistic discourse that intersects neatly with expounding law on twitter: speaking as *a criminal investigator* and *lawyer* let me unload my drift in this short thread 1/37 ” @SethMenschAbramsonLouise

  7. Trip says:

    How long until sentencing, if this happens today? Cohen is not being sentenced until December, (and speaking of this, it’s been really quiet on that front since Davis zipped it).

    • Peterr says:

      Sentencing of someone with a plea agreement that includes cooperation will not happen until the prosecution is satisfied that they’ve wrung every piece of information out that they believe the defendant possesses. If the prosecution anticipates that the defendant will need to testify in person in some subsequent trial of others, the sentencing won’t happen until after that testimony.

      Manafort might want to make himself comfortable in jail, because it’s going to be a while.

      • david sanger says:

        “Manafort might want to make himself comfortable in jail, because it’s going to be a while.”

        but any time served would be credited against the eventual sentence, so there’s no net difference in jail time, right?

  8. bmaz says:

    Okay, I am not positive how this plays out, but note this language from paragraph 68 of the Superseding Information:


    68. Upon conviction of the offense charged in Count One, the defendant PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, involved in such offense, and any property traceable to such property, and any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981(a)(1)(A), 981(a)(1)(C), and 982(a)(1), and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c). The United States will also seek a judgment against the defendant for a sum of money representing the property described in this paragraph (to be offset by the forfeiture of any specific property).

    So, it appears the government intends to render a civil judgment for the full amount as if it were basically cash. Then that judgment gets “offset” by the “specific property”. But what if the “specific property” liquidation upon forfeiture does not cover the full amount? I cannot believe the government would seek to pry out of the Manafort family the deficiency balance, but who knows.

    Also, the Manaforts, yes Kathleen too!, now have HUGE tax problems both with the Feds and in Virginia, DC and New York as to state taxes. They are going to have to redo many years of tax returns and be liable for extra taxes due, and that could be rather large sums. And Tish James and/or Barbara Underwood (who I think will stay with James) the NY Attorney General’s Office is going to make an issue of this. Manafort is nowhere near out of the woods yet.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Paragraph 70: if stipulated property is already sold, has diminished in value, etc., “it is the intent of the United States of America, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 982(b) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461 (c), incorporating Title 21 , United States Code, Section 853, to seek forfeiture of any other property of said defendant.”

      So, yeah. Look for a lot of fancy rugs in a government auction.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lots of twists in that.  One is that any debt forgiveness is income to the debtor.  To the extent the USG walks away from a deficiency, for example, that’s forgiveness of debt and income to Paulie.

      Any foreign clients of Paulie to whom he owes money could also cause him problems by forgiving the debt, generating income in the amount forgiven.  Potentially lots of income, but no cash and nothing to pay taxes with.  The opposite of the wealth elite’s nirvana.

  9. scribe says:

    ” But what if the “specific property” liquidation upon forfeiture does not cover the full amount?”

    Ask the Madoffs about how that goes.

  10. Geoff says:

    WP has announced that a prosecutor said in court that PM is now cooperating with Mueller investigation. Cue rage filled DT tweet storm in 3…2….1….

    • Bob Conyers says:

      I’m curious how much is left for Manafort to offer. After all of the Gates information and everything the feds seized, it’s possible he’s not able to give a lot.

      I’m not sure, of course. He may have just screwed up the negotiations and is getting a low price for a lot of info.

      At least it’s a bit of justice, long delayed, for the victims of his dictator clients.

      • KM says:

        At a minimum, he was at the Trump Tower meeting.  Plus, Team Mueller has put an enormous amount of effort into bringing maximum pressure to bear on him at every point in this process; seems obvious to me that they at least think he has lots to offer.

      • orionATL says:

        if manafort was the link between the trump campaign and the putin anti-clinton campaign, thru kilimnik to the gru (and maybe wikileaks), then he will have a hell of a lot to say.

        additionally, having manafort testify on certain matters beats having gates testify about manafort on the same.

        • KM says:

          Put differently, if Fearless Leader is right about the Russians having paid Manafort to be Trump’s (“free”) campaign manager, and about Kilimnik being his handler (as opposed to his ostensible employee), then there seems to be lots that Manafort can add to the picture.  Even if Gates knew, or had suspicions, about these things.

    • KM says:

      If the cooperation includes cooperation against Trump himself.  Or Tweeter-in-Chief feels a normal paternal attachment for eldest.

  11. Peacerme says:

    Meanwhile, according to a CNN article, an article dated 1999, states the following:

    Independent probes of Clinton’s to 1999 cost 80 million? (So this figure does not include Benghazi etc…)

    And Mueller pays for his investigation by the validity of the investigation.

    So tired of the delusional “right”.

    There is no such thing as “right”. It’s just a delusion.

  12. klynn says:

    Wonder if and when we find out why Manafort pushed the pick of the IN guy to sit in the Old Executive Office Building? If I were Indiana guy, I would be nervous.

  13. Anon says:

    So does this mean that the mutual defense pact that was discussed yesterday? Did Manafort back out of it or somehow split the difference?

  14. oldoilfieldhand says:

    What signal was Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing sending (and to whom), by continuously wiping his hands during his press statement?

    Does Kevin know that he will never be able to wash that shit off?

  15. MarcieB says:

    klynn… I think you have raised a question regarding the very accommodating VP that deserves it’s own “looksie”.

  16. Dale Robertson says:

    When a piece of real estate is forfeited, the Government usually allows a mortgage to be paid from the proceeds of the sale. The exception is when the bank does not have clean hands. In Manafort’s case, the Government may not get anything from the sale of the real estate to be forfeited except for the Brooklyn brownstone. Money was loaned on the brownstone by Federal Savings Bank. In trial, one of the prosecutors called the chairman of Federal Savings to be a co-conspirator in the conspiracy to defraud the bank. The evidence was that the loan was made in violation of the bank’s mortgage process. The Government will likely resist a claim by Federal Savings to have its mortgage paid from the proceeds.

    Ordinarily, the amount recovered by the bank is of importance in determining the guideline range in a bank fraud case. However, even if the various banks recover nothing it is unlikely to increase the guideline range in the Virginia case. Manafort’s guideline range may be 15 years, 8 months to 19 years, 7 months although there is a good chance it will be higher. There is a guideline worksheet for Manafort at

    • bmaz says:

      Well, that is assuming the banks so perfect their claim and want to have it scrutinized by the Mueller shop, no?

      As to guidelines worksheets dot com, who did that?? My cocktail napkin calc had Manafort 7-11 years. Frankly my guess is he may, because of the unconvicted conduct, gotten closer to the upper part of the range. That said, he now has full acceptance of responsibility and likely will get a 5K1 departure request to boot, so that thing is effectively useless at this point.

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