Gates testifies that he embezzled money

Cheryl Sanders
August 7, 2018

Prosecutors have called a witness other than Rick Gates in the financial fraud trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

On day five of the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Gates was asked by the prosecutor whether he had committed any crimes with Mr Manafort, and he said: "Yes".

Accountant Cindy LaPorta - who was granted immunity from prosecution - said on Friday she suspected that Gates was misleading her about Mr Manafort's finances.

Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year as part of an agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Gates took the stand for the first time on Monday afternoon.


"This is typically the most important testimony that a "flipper" can give prosecutors - an admission that they committed crimes along with the defendant, along with an explanation of how they did it", Mariotti tweeted on Monday.

Jurors will hear again Monday from Cynthia Laporta, an accountant who testified August 3 about going along with phony, backdated documents meant to help lower Manafort's tax bills and secure real-estate loans even as his personal debt rose.

The testimony from Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump, comes after reaching a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year to testify against his former partner in a lucrative worldwide political consulting firm.

Russia If You're ListeningPaul Manafort: The dictator's fixerIn four years Paul Manafort went from making millions of dollars in Ukraine, to running the Trump campaign, to jail.

Similar to prior witnesses, Ms Laporta testified Mr Gates and Mr Manafort were in lockstep but that Mr Manafort was in charge. He told the court he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his boss. Rick Gates became the first member of the Trump campaign to publicly admit to crimes.


Ms Laporta, looking at a summary of loans to Mr Manafort and his businesses, said she could not see any indication the loan from Mr Deripaska had been paid off.

The testimony comes hours after Manafort's defense attorneys accused Gates of embezzling as they sought to paint Gates as an untrustworthy witness.

"They probably have hundreds and hundreds of emails", the former US prosecutor said.

There was no mention of President Trump or his campaign, but this trial is the first big public test for the special counsel.

Gates said an associate, Konstantin Klimnik, had control over the overseas accounts.


Manafort attorney Kevin Downing says that Rick Gates will testify at the conclusion of the testimony of Manafort's tax preparer. In calling Gates, the government will present jurors with the firsthand account of a co-conspirator expected to say Manafort was knee-deep in an alleged scheme to hide millions of dollars from the IRS and defraud several banks.

Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER