Ex-Trump aide Manafort to be arraigned in New York on Thursday: court spokesman - Metro US

Ex-Trump aide Manafort to be arraigned in New York on Thursday: court spokesman


(Reuters) – Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump, will be arraigned on Thursday in a New York court in Manhattan on state criminal charges, after having been convicted last year on federal fraud charges.

Manafort, 70, is scheduled to appear before Justice Maxwell Wiley of the state Supreme Court on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT), court spokesman Lucian Chalfen told Reuters.

Manafort faces 16 felony charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney. The state charges include mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records, and relate to efforts by Manafort to obtain millions of dollars in loans on New York properties between 2015 and 2017.

Manafort’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, declined to comment on the arraignment.

Blanche said earlier this month that Manafort would plead not guilty and that he would move to dismiss the case on double jeopardy grounds because the charges center on mortgage applications to two banks that were also at issue in Manafort’s federal trial last year.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance made the indictment public in March, on the same day Manafort was sentenced on federal crimes.

Manafort is serving a 7-1/2-year federal sentence for tax fraud, bank fraud and other charges.

Federal prosecutors accused him of hiding $16 million from U.S. tax authorities that he earned as a consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, and then lying to banks to obtain $20 million in loans when the money dried up.

The federal charges stemmed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top charges in the New York case.

Manafort is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal facility in Manhattan.

He was transferred there earlier this month from a prison in Pennsylvania following an unusual intervention by the U.S. Justice Department, which said it had decided to keep Manafort in federal custody due to concerns about his health and safety.

The move saved Manafort from a likely stay in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison complex, sparking criticism that he was receiving special treatment compared with other criminals who would normally be held in a state facility.

Blanche has said he would argue to allow Manafort to be moved back to the Pennsylvania prison, a low-security facility, pending trial.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld, Nathan Layne and Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Howard Goller, Chizu Nomiyama and Cynthia Osterman)

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