ALEXANDRIA, Va. — After Paul Manafort’s political consulting work in the Ukraine dried up in 2015 he signed a forged loan document that saved him $500,000 in tax payments and submitted false information to secure mortgages on his properties, his former accountant testified Friday.
Cindy Laporta — who knowingly filed a false 2014 tax return on behalf of Manafort — was granted immunity to testify against him in his criminal tax-evasion and bank fraud case.
She told a jury in Alexandria, Va. federal court that she worked with Manafort’s associate Rick Gates in September 2015 to create a phony $900,000 loan owed to his consulting firm David Manafort Partners International so he would get a “$400,000 to $500,000” reduction on his 2014 income taxes.
Manafort signed the backdated loan document, she testified.
Prosecutors also showed the jury March 2016 emails between Laporta and Gates about fabricating a forgiveness letter on another, $1.5 million loan that Citizen’s Bank needed.
She said Manafort was copied on an email to the bank that included the fake letter. Laporta said she later regretted her actions but at the time didn’t want to risk losing a lucrative client.
“I could have called Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort liars,” she acknowledged.
But, she said, “Mr. Manafort was a longtime client of the firm and I didn’t want to do that.”
Published at Fri, 03 Aug 2018 23:07:24 +0000