Rick Gates testifies that he committed crimes with ex-boss Paul Manafort

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington. Paul Manafort’s trial opened this week with a display of his opulent lifestyle and testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception. But the

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said, however, that Gates' testimony will be key for the jury and their deliberations.

In stunning testimony at Manafort's trial on tax and fraud charges, Gates stated he and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts they did not report to the federal government, and knew it was illegal.

Lawsuits filed by Deripaska in 2014 describe how Gates failed to respond to requests forinformation on the investment around the same time.

Manafort's defense team aimed to discredit Gates as a liar and an embezzler who falsified Manafort's finances while trying to cover up his own crimes.

The appearance by Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, sent a jolt through the courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manafort's lawyers have branded him as a liar and a thief who embezzled millions of dollars and can't be trusted. Manafort ran the 2016 presidential campaign for then-candidate Donald Trump, but the crimes he is accused of were allegedly committed prior to his involvement with the election.

In one exchange, Ellis interrupted Andres during Gates' testimony about his travels, according to Politico.

His testimony drew scores of people, who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then packed both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings.

The jury had heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans.

Gates also said he lied in a lawsuit deposition years ago, after Manafort "asked me not to include" certain things in the deposition.

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Judge Ellis admonished Andres for asking superfluous questions about Ukrainian billionaires involved in that country's politics.

Finally, before the court recessed for lunch, Gates said that he helped Manafort convert a $1.5 million 2012 loan from Peranova Holdings into income while applying for a loan in 2016.

After Gates struggled to recall precisely what he had told Mueller's team, Downing asked if he had been confronted with "so many lies" that he can't keep his story straight.

The tax evasion and bank fraud prosecution of Paul Manafort could draw to a close as early as the end of the week, prosecutors said Tuesday before Judge T.S. Ellis III recessed the court for lunch.

Gates told jurors that he and Manafort didn't report the income or the foreign bank accounts containing millions of dollars to the IRS, noting that he knew they were committing crimes each time.

He testified that Mr Manafort had directed him to lower taxable income by reporting overseas income as loans, according to United States media.

Gates implicated himself in broad criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors to take some of the steam out of defence questioning.

Gates told jurors that he helped establish the offshore accounts for Manafort, and that Manafort had negotiated with Ukrainian oligarchs on how payments to the accounts would be made.

Gates, who was also a senior Trump campaign official, was Manafort's righthand man for years.

He has tweeted support for his former campaign manager, suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.



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