Daily Updates Manafort accountant recalls backdated documents

HANNITY: Manafort Case 'HAS NOTHING TO DO' with Russia Collusion, President Trump

Landscaper describes Manafort’s pond and flower bed in the shape of an ‘M’

LaPorta testified that she then told Citizen's Bank that the loan was forgiven in 2015.

Ayliff says he sometimes communicated with Gates about Manafort's personal and business tax returns.

Manafort's "argument that a civil audit should have been conducted and the fact that one was not creates a substantial risk of misleading the jury, prejudicing the government, and inviting jury nullification", prosecutor Van Grack wrote, referring to the outcome in which jurors believe a defendant committed crimes but vote not to convict because they believe the person was not fairly prosecuted.

Laporta was the 14th witness called by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose case against Manafort arose out of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. The accountant, Cindy Laporta, was among several immunized witnesses identified before the trial began. The other four include an insurance agent, two bankers who worked on mortgages for Manafort, and Conor O'Brien, a former assistant to Laporta at the accounting firm KWC.

Prosecutors then asked Laporta how she felt about this decision.

"There's a lot of changes", Washkuhn said, as the two profit and loss statements were showed side-by-side in court. Manafort was aware of the reported loan, which served to reduce his income, she said.

Laporta confirmed she was testifying under immunity because of the fear that she could be prosecuted for her actions.

"It is hard for me to see how Manafort escapes a conviction on those counts", former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti tweeted about the tax evasion charges. She said, "I very much regret it".

Laporta noted that each year she requested information - in writing - regarding any potential foreign bank accounts. Washkuhn said Gates was only involved in Manafort's business dealings, not his personal expenses.

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The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified, and the organization did not respond to a message from the AP.

In March 2016, Gates asked Washkuhn - at Manafort's direction, Washkuhn said - to reclassify $2.6 million in "accrued revenue" as "income" on the financial statements of Manafort's company DMP International, even though Washkuhn accounted for DMP's finances on a cash-only, nonaccrual basis.

Manafort's defense attorneys do not seem to have scored a lot of points on cross-examination, Futterman said, but added that the witnesses who have testified so far are not "the main targets". And a series of businessmen said he used worldwide wire transfers to pay for millions of dollars in luxury items. LaPorta testified that Manafort would get a better rate if he applied for a loan using a residence, rather than a rental property.

The letter was back-dated almost eight months earlier and included no signatures.

Later, the bank said there was an issue with Manafort's finances. LaPorta testified it was "highly unlikely" that documents had been signed yet because Gates' email suggested that he was backdating a letter. Asked by Asonye if she believed it was forgiven, she said: "Uh, no". "I wanted it to be the client's document". In calling Gates, the government will present jurors with the first-hand 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.

When pressed by reporters on how she tells the difference between a presidential order or an opinion, Sanders said Trump makes his intentions "pretty clear". But later she emailed Federal Savings Bank and said Mr. Manafort was expected the funds at his direction.

In any case, Mr Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March past year and does not have the power to stop it.

"This is about Mr Manafort placing his trust in the wrong person", defence lawyer Thomas Zehnle said in his opening statement.

But when the prosecution neared the end of its questioning Friday, with the allegedly fake documents on the screen and a witness testifying to her own wrongdoing, the courtroom was rapt.

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