Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison for bank and tax fraud

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What You Need to Know: Paul Manafort

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Paul Manafort, the 69-year-old lobbyist and former chairman for President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was sentenced to 47 months for tax and bank fraud Thursday evening.

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Judge T.S. Ellis III imposed the sentence capping the only jury trial following indictments stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort spoke to the judge while seated in a wheelchair in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom. He said that “saying I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”

He also said he has had time to reflect on his actions during months of solitary confinement and does not recognize the person he has been made out to be in the media. He says he hopes to have an opportunity “to show the world who I know I really am.”

Federal sentencing guidelines had called for a term of roughly 20 years, but few observers had expected he would receive a sentence that long.

Manafort still faces sentencing in the District of Columbia, where he pleaded guilty in a separate case connected to illegal lobbying.

A jury found Manafort guilty last summer of eight tax and bank fraud charges in a case stemming from work he and an associate did for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine.

Prosecutors painted Manafort as a high roller who broke the law to fund his lavish lifestyle. As part of a plea agreement reached in a separate case brought by Mueller’s team, Manafort admitted he lied to banks and other financial institutions for more than 10 years, from 2006 to 2017, and that he failed to pay taxes on more than $12 million worth of items from 2008 to 2014.

Explore>> Paul Manafort pleads guilty as part of deal with special counsel Robert Mueller

Manafort agreed to work with Mueller’s team in September, while facing charges out of Washington that included conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The deal fell apart months later, however, when prosecutors accused Manafort of lying to investigators despite the agreement.

Explore>> Mueller recommends Paul Manafort be sentenced to 19.5-24.5 years in prison and $24M fine

Prosecutors last month recommended Manafort get between 19 1/2 and 24 1/2 years in prison for his crimes in Virginia and that he be fined as much as $24 million.

Manafort served three months as Trump’s campaign chair, from June to August 2016, before he was forced to resign amid reports that his firm was involved with covert lobbying in support of a pro-Russian political party in the Ukraine.

Explore>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

Although his was the first trial prompted by Mueller’s investigation, the case did not touch on allegations of election interference. During the special counsel’s investigation, Mueller’s team said it discovered Manafort had hidden millions of dollars he had received in exchange for work he did for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Five other Trump aides have been charged in connection with Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump campaign officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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