Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was indicted Monday on charges that he laundered millions of dollars from his work for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine through luxury real estate.
Investigators have identified at least four high-end properties belonging to Mr. Manafort subject to forfeiture if he’s found guilty, including a brownstone in Brooklyn, a SoHo condo, a lavish estate in the Hamptons and a 1920s single-family home in Arlington, Virginia.
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Prosecutors say Mr. Manafort—who was placed under house arrest—stashed millions in accounts in Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Seychelles to buy the properties.
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” the 12-count indictment says. Purchases include Range Rovers and nearly $1 million in men’s clothing. These mark the first charges by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, brought on to lead a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election after Mr. Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey.
Mr. Manafort, 68, pleaded not guilty in court on Monday, with his lawyer calling the charges “ridiculous.”
Four homes targeted
The most luxurious home subject to forfeiture is a 2.4-acre estate in Water Mill, New York. Mr. Manafort funneled millions from accounts in Cyprus and the Grenadine islands to build up the property, according to the indictment. The county assesses the home at $5.3 million.
Mr. Manafort’s wife, Kathleen Manafort, purchased the tract of land in Water Mill for $400,000 in 1992, and a house was built on the property in 2001, according to records accessed through PropertyShark. But the indictment suggests many more millions were later funneled into renovations via illicit funds. (Ms. Manafort is not facing any charges.)
Prosecutors say Mr. Manafort wired more than $5.4 million from offshore accounts to a Hamptons home improvement company between 2008 and 2014 for work on the property and spent nearly $1 million of hidden funds on landscaping and installing an audio and video home integration system.
Now, the lavish 10-bedroom home consists of a red, two-story mansion and a matching guest/pool house, according to property records and aerial images. The grounds include a pool, paved patio with a pergola, tennis court, basketball court, putting green, a pond and manicured gardens.
The indictment also alleges Mr. Manafort wired $1.9 million from Cyprus to purchase a four-bedroom home in the Washington, D.C., bedroom community of Arlington, Virginia. His daughter, Andrea, is named as the owner of the 1920s Arts and Crafts house in county property records.
The 2,600-square-foot house underwent a renovation a couple of years before the Manaforts’ ownership, taking down walls to open up the floor plan and adding a handful of state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, according to a previous listing. The home has an assessed value of $1.7 million.
The charges against Mr. Manafort—who was chairman of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign from March to June 2016—cover the decade from 2006 to 2016.
Prosecutors laid out two cases of alleged money laundering in which Mr. Manafort bought homes in New York City using hidden foreign income and then took out loans on them in order to obtain cash.
In 2012, he allegedly wired money from Cyprus accounts to purchase two homes in New York City: a SoHo condo for $2.85 million and multi-family brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, for $3 million cash.
Mr. Manafort, authorities claim, lied that his daughter lived in the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Manhattan condo—with its trendy exposed brick interiors—in order to secure a $3.185 million mortgage on the property, when he was actually renting the home out on Airbnb.
In Brooklyn, Mr. Manafort obtained a $5 million construction loan in order to convert the multi-family townhouse into a single-home dwelling. But authorities called foul in the indictment, saying he violated the terms of the loan by using the proceeds to buy another property in California.
Both New York City homes are now subject to forfeiture if the political operative is found guilty.
Manafort’s other homes
The four homes targeted for forfeiture are only a portion of Mr. Manafort’s real estate holdings. The indictment suggests he laundered money through home improvements to other homes, though it’s unclear whether prosecutors might add more properties to the list. The Special Counsel’s Office declined to comment beyond the indictment.
For instance, he transferred $1.3 million from accounts in Cyprus and the U.K. to a Florida company specializing in home automation, lighting and home entertainment. He wired another $400,000 to a contractor there, the indictment says.
Mr. Manafort and his wife have a three-bedroom villa in a swanky golf enclave in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He bought the property with a glass-covered pool and one-bedroom guest house, for $1.5 million in 2007, property records show. The Manaforts often use their Florida property as their primary mailing address.
He’s accused of spending another $1 million in unclaimed foreign income on antique rugs between 2008 and 2010 in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2015, the Manaforts bought a three-bedroom apartment in a new luxury condominium there for $2.7 million, according to property records.
The Manaforts also own a condo at Trump Tower that they bought in 2015 for an undisclosed amount in property records.
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