DA Vance indicts Manafort on pardon-proof mortgage fraud charges

Manafort faced sentencing on federal charges in Virginia on Wednesday

Paul Manafort (Credit: Getty Images)
Paul Manafort (Credit: Getty Images)

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted in Manhattan on Wednesday on mortgage fraud charges, the same day a federal judge increased his overall jail sentence to 7.5 years.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. charged Manafort with a scheme to defraud banks for million of dollars in loans, including falsifying business records, after a two-year investigation.

Manafort was previously sentenced to a total of 48 months in prison on charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia. Those charges also included counts of mortgage and bank fraud. But Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday ordered the former campaign chairman to serve an additional 43 months on federal conspiracy charges, noting he broke a prior plea agreement by lying to investigators and a grand jury over contact with a Russian associate during the 2016 campaign.

377 Union Street in Brooklyn and 29 Howard Street

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Vance’s 16 count indictment covers a range of alleged illegal activity that also appeared in those federal cases, including alleged deceptions to banks in order to obtain a loan on Manafort’s Soho condominium at 29 Howard Street in Manhattan. However, Vance’s filings are more cryptic and lack detail when compared to federal filings.

Vance’s indictment, which largely covers the same alleged activity in the federal cases, serves a very strategic purpose: President Trump, who has repeatedly sought to undermine the Mueller investigation, cannot legally pardon Manafort from charges issued by a New York State court.

The New York Times reported that Manafort’s attorneys are likely to appeal Vance’s charges on double jeopardy grounds.

Manafort has also owned property in Palm Beach County. In October, he signed a deed transferring his house in Palm Beach Gardens to his wife, Kathleen, for $10.