Ex-Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort jailed for fraud

President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort has been given a 47-month jail sentence for fraud. He 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. Robert Mueller is thought to be finishing up his 22-month investigation, which has dogged the Trump presidency.

None of Manafort’s charges relate to allegations of collusion with Russia. 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 Mueller.

Manafort, 69, is due to be sentenced in another case next week related to his illegal lobbying. His sentencing marks a spectacular downfall for a 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 mansion in the Hamptons.

Manafort served three months as Trump’s campaign chairman until August 2016, when he was forced to resign over his previous work in Ukraine.

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

Manafort’s bail was revoked for alleged witness-tampering and he has been held in solitary confinement for nine months.

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