WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has been indicted on 12 charges of money-laundering and conspiracy, the first charges filed in the investigation of possible connections between the Trump campaign and a Russian effort to influence last year’s presidential election.
Manafort, 68, turned himself in at FBI headquarters early Monday for his role in an alleged scheme to use offshore accounts to hide tens of millions of dollars in payments he received for representing a pro-Kremlin political faction in the Ukraine.
Manafort also was charged with filing false reports to conceal the fact that he was acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Also charged in the indictment was Richard W. Gates III, a top business aide to Manafort.
The charges state that Manafort and Gates were agents for former Ukraine President Victor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions.
Manafort and Gates used a variety of offshore accounts in Cyprus and other bank secrecy havens to hide $75 million in payments for the lobbying work, allowing them to avoid filing required registrations and to avoid paying taxes, according to the indictment.
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” the charges said.
The White House declined comment on the charges.
Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was named as special counsel in May to investigate the Russian attempts to influence the election, but the charges are not directly tied to that operation. Mueller also has authority to investigate any related crimes that his team uncovers.
Manafort worked for the Trump campaign from March until August, serving for several months as campaign chairman.US