Jury of six men, six women sworn in for Manafort trial

Paul Manafort trial offers glimpse into what Robert Mueller actually has in his investigation

The figures emerged in court filings ahead of Paul Manafort's trial on Tuesday on tax and bank fraud charges. It is the first trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 us presidential election.

Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on U.S. real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans.

During his three-week trial, prosecutors plan to lay out Mr Manafort's extensive dealings with the pro-Russian Ukrainian political party of Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed as Ukraine's president in 2014.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Manafort's lavish spending on suits, homes and luxury items did not match the income declared on his tax returns and that he misled lenders when he borrowed tens of millions of dollars against NY real estate. While many in the courtroom laughed, including Manafort's lawyers, the defendant himself did not.

Manafort is charged with bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy for allegedly submitting false and misleading information to try to secure a $1 million business loan from Banc of California. Four alternate jurors, three women and one man, also were chosen.

Given the strength of the evidence, however, some legal experts have suggested Manafort may be banking on an eventual pardon from Trump, who has called his former campaign chairman a "nice guy" who has been treated unfairly.

Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, was sent to jail pending a trial after his bail was revoked.

Ellis had given the pool of 65 potential jurors an overview of the charges against Manafort, though he reminded the group that the indictment "is not evidence of any guilt whatsoever". Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

"This is the way that they required it to be done", Zehnle said, arguing why oligarchs paid Manafort through secret foreign accounts.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud related to his lobbying activities on behalf of the former Russian-backed government of Ukraine. So far, 32 people and three companies have been charged by Mr Mueller.

To avoid paying hefty taxes, prosecutors say, they set up secret shell companies and offshore accounts to funnel their Ukrainian proceeds disguised as "loans" to USA accounts to buy multimillion-dollar properties and luxury goods. Some documents are necessary to show Manafort's connections with those consultants, prosecutors say.

Last week, Ellis granted Mueller's request to give immunity to five witnesses expected to testify at Manafort's trial, but denied prosecutors' request to protect their identities. He said that Manafort was in the process of paying back the loans, before Mueller brought charges against him and his assets were seized.

Paul Manafort will appear Tuesday in federal court in Virginia for the first trial arising from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. "They are more anxious about protecting the trial from having a mistrial or having it overturned on appeal than provoking a hold-out person over Trump", Wu explained.

He faces a separate trial in late September, on related charges, in Washington, D.C.



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