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Ex-Trump Campaign Chief Jailed For Fraud

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Paul Manafort  was convicted last year of hiding millions of dollars of income earned by his political

consulting in Ukraine.

The charges stem from an inquiry into alleged Russian election meddling in the 2016 US elections.

None of Manafort’s charges relate to collusion with Russia in the election. Mr Trump has always denied

the charge, describing the inquiry as a witch hunt.

The 47-month sentence is far shorter than what was recommended by US Department of Justice

Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr Mueller is thought to be finishing up his 22-month investigation, which has dogged the Trump

presidency.Manafort is due to be sentenced in another case next week related to his illegal

lobbying.Manafort – who will receive credit for time served – must also pay $24m (£18m) in restitution

and a $50,000 fine.

The 69-year-old addressed the court on Thursday evening in Alexandria, Virginia, saying “the last two

years have been the most difficult of my life”.

“To say I am humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” he added, asking the judge to

be “compassionate”.

He described his life as “professionally and financially in shambles”.

Judge TS Ellis said he was surprised that Manafort did not “express regret for engaging in wrongful

conduct”.

Nevertheless he said sentencing guidelines cited by prosecutors calling for between 19.5 and 24 years

in prison were “excessive”.

The formerly dapper lobbyist – who entered the court wearing a green prison jumpsuit and in a

wheelchair – was impassive as he learned his fate.

His legal team has previously said he suffers from debilitating foot pain resulting from gout as a result of his incarceration.

Manafort has been held in solitary confinement for the last nine months at a local jail since his bail was

revoked for alleged witness-tampering.

His sentencing marks a spectacular downfall for a high-rolling Republican political guru who advised

four US presidents, including Mr Trump, and foreign leaders.A jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted

Manafort last August of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failing to

declare a foreign bank account.

The judge, however, declared a mistrial on 10 other fraud-related charges.

Manafort was indicted for hiding $55m in offshore bank accounts in Cyprus, money he was paid as a

political consultant for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians.

Prosecutors say Manafort failed to pay more than $6m in taxes, as he funded his opulent lifestyle,

including a $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket and a luxury renovation of his Hamptons mansion.

Manafort served three months as Trump’s campaign chairman, from June to August 2016, before he was forced to resign amid scrutiny of his previous work in Ukraine.

He was the first former Trump aide to be arrested in the special counsel investigation, in October 2017.

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