Justice Department sues Paul Manafort for nearly $3 million

The Justice Department is suing Trump’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort for nearly $3 million for allegedly failing to report his financial interest in foreign bank accounts between 2013 and 2014.

The lawsuit claims Manafort failed to fill out conventional “FBAR” reports required for all foreign bank balances over $10,000 a year, and his income tax returns did not reflect the existence of the overseas accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom. According to the suit, Manafort was involved in consulting in Ukraine, with Richard Gates, and Konstantin Kilimnik.

“He owes the United States $2,321,797 for the willful FBAR penalty for 2013, plus interest and failure to pay penalty,” the documents filed in Florida federal court allege. Additionally, the documents allege he owes $300,000 for the willful FBAR penalty for 2014, plus interest and a failure to pay penalty, for a total of $2,976,350.15.

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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for a hearing on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.

According to the court documents, a delegate from the Secretary of Treasury, assessed a penalty against Manafort for “willful failure” to pay both the 2013 and 2014 FBARs in May of 2020. On July 23, 2020, a delegate from the Secretary of Treasury sent Manafort notice of the assessment of the 2013 and 2014 FBAR penalties requested payment, the court documents alleged.

Manafort’s attorney Jeffrey Neiman said in a statement that the “civil lawsuit seeks a money judgment against Mr. Manafort for simply failing to file a tax form.”

“Mr. Neiman stated that Manafort knew the Government would file suit as he had tried to settle the civil matter for many months. The Government insists on filing the suit to embarrass Mr. Manafort.”

Manafort was convicted of multiple financial crimes including tax and bank fraud and obstruction in 2018. He was later sentenced by two separate judges to over seven years in prison, but former President Donald Trump pardoned him in December of 2020.

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Manafort served as the Trump campaign chairman before ultimately finding himself in the crosshairs of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose office prosecuted the 2018 charges.

Despite Trump’s pardon, Thursday’s lawsuit argued that Manafort still owes the U.S. government for alleged financial wrongdoing.

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