Paul Manafort pays his bills a little differently from most people—with wire transfers from banks in Cyprus and oddly named shell companies designed for maximum privacy. The defense hasn’t necessarily disputed the claim. The feds say it’s evidence Manafort was cheating on his taxes. So what’s the game plan for both sides?
Welcome to Rabbit Hole, reported from the Eastern District of Virginia courthouse, where your correspondent is camped out for the week.
They’ve got receipts: The prosecution’s most serious charges against Paul Manafort are the ones involving money—defrauding banks and hiding income from the IRS. The government alleges that he used a web of offshore shell companies based in Cyprus to take the proceeds he earned from his Ukraine political consulting and hide them from the government. In order to tie Manafort to those companies and prove that they were involved in hiding income, the feds introduced binders full of invoices and quizzed vendors who’d sold him everything from suits to houses about how he paid his bills.