Star witness ends testimony in fraud trial of ex-Trump campaign chief

Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans

While businesses can deduct losses from theft, Welch said on redirect by one of the prosecutors: "If money is stolen from money that is untaxed, there is no deduction".

Manafort's lawyers are determined to impugn the credibility of Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mueller's investigation and agreed to cooperate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial.

Regarding a trading company Manafort had started with a partner in 2011, he asked with deep scepticism: "You're asking the jury to believe Mr Manafort authorised another US$250,000 as a bonus?"

Gates said he did, but the defense lawyer wasn't satisfied.

As prosecutors near the end of their case, they likely have one question on their minds: What does the jury make of all of this?

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

Manafort's accountant was asked about a purported $10 million loan from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Manafort had $16.4 million in unreported income between 2010 and 2014, according to an IRS agent who said tax returns filed by Manafort were also false because he did not indicate he had foreign accounts.

A former campaign aide to Donald Trump lived a "secret life" that included an extramarital affair in London, a court heard on Tuesday.

"Did you submit personal expenses to the inaugural committee for reimbursement?"

The questioning of Paul Manafort's protege during the political consultant's financial fraud trial has turned confrontational and personal, focusing on Rick Gates' own crimes as well as an extramarital affair and a plea agreement.

Defense attorneys then used several hours of cross-examination to try to damage Gates' credibility in the eyes of jurors. He told jurors he embezzled from Manafort by filing false expense reports.

Rick Gates has been the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testifying how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

Rick Gates, under cross examination at the tax evasion and bank fraud trial of his former boss Paul Manafort, admitted that he had "another relationship" involving first-class flights and luxury hotels, but denied these were funded with money embezzled from Manafort.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. I thought he was needlessly evasive and argumentative", said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney in MI who has been watching the trial and said she observed jurors reacting with negative body language as he testified.

Andres followed up: "Did Mr Manafort know?"

Gates struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in February, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

Neither were charged in connection with their Trump campaign work.

"Those appear to be substantially different, don't they?" defense attorney Richard Westling asked Magionos, showing her Manafort's signatures on a loan application to the Bank of California and one of the foreign banking documents. Gates also fabricated a forgiveness letter for what he said was already a fake loan between Manafort's consulting company and a Cypriot entity he controlled. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign. "How could I be blindsided like this".

"I think the jury will hate (Gates), but they should still convict (Manafort) because of the testimony of other witnesses and the other documents that do put all of this on Manafort". "This is a disaster".

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