Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to pay $3.15m to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Department of Justice over his failure to report his foreign bank accounts in a timely fashion.
The DOJ sued Mr Manafort last year in US District Court in Southern Florida for $2.9m, alleging that he did not report money he made from his consulting work in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014 that was deposited into bank accounts opened on his behalf in Cyprus, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Manafort was required to report the accounts to the IRS, but said on his tax returns that he had no foreign bank accounts. The lawsuit claimed that some of the accounts were not opened in Mr Manafort’s name, but rather in the name of shell corporations run by others on his behalf. The Florida Bulldog first reported the settlement.
“Despite having defences, Mr. Manafort has chosen to put this chapter of his life completely behind him,” Jeffrey Neiman, one of Mr. Manafort’s lawyers, told NBC News. “Paul has moved on.”
Mr Manafort, a lawyer and political operative who at one time ran Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has faced a raft of legal trouble in recent years. He was convicted on eight charges of tax and bank fraud in US District Court in Virginia in 2018 and entered into a plea agreement regarding 10 other charges — including three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts uncovered by the investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
US citizens who lobby for foreign countries are required to register with the federal government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which Mr Manafort only did retroactively after his lobbying practices had come under scrutiny in 2017.
Mr Manafort was facing the prospect of more than seven years in prison after he was sentenced in 2019, but was released to home confinement due to the threat of Covid-19 and was then pardoned by Mr Trump following the 2020 election.