US sues ex-Trump aide Manafort for $4m



Paul Manafort, who served as former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, is being sued by the US Justice Department for just under $US3 million ($4.2 million) for not reporting his financial interest in foreign accounts in a timely fashion.

Manafort, who was convicted in 2018 on tax evasion and bank fraud charges, was pardoned by Trump in 2020, shortly before he left office.

“The United States of America brings this action to collect outstanding civil penalties assessed against defendant Paul J Manafort for his willful failure to timely report his financial interest in foreign bank accounts,” the Justice Department says in a filing with the US District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Justice Department is seeking $US2,976,350.15.

Manafort’s lawyer said the government was seeking a penalty against Manafort “for simply failing to file a tax form”.

“Mr Manafort was aware the government was going to file the suit because he has tried for months to resolve this civil matter. Nonetheless, the government insisted on filing this suit simply to embarrass Mr Manafort,” lawyer Jeffrey Neiman said.

In the 2018 conviction on charges of financial wrongdoing, prosecutors had accused Manafort of hiding from US tax authorities $US16 million he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $US20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

A Republican-led US Senate committee in 2020 concluded that Russia used Manafort and the WikiLeaks website to try to help Trump win the 2016 election.

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