Feds looking to seize Manafort’s Brooklyn brownstone
Trump’s former campaign chair indicted
The government is looking to seize a property in Carroll Gardens owned by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was indicted on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort was charged with a number of serious crimes, including conspiracy against the United States, money laundering and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.
He resigned from Trump’s campaign following reports that a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party paid him more than $12 million.
The indictment publicly released Monday alleges that Manafort used hidden wealth stashed in offshore accounts to purchase luxury properties in the U.S., to the tune of roughly $18 million. He took out mortgages on these properties, living off this liquid income without paying taxes on it. He also generated income through rentals or through Airbnb.
One of these properties is in Carroll Gardens, on Union Street near Smith Street. Through a corporate vehicle called MC Brooklyn Holdings, LLC, Manafort paid $3 million in cash, funneled from Cyprus, for the brownstone at 377 Union St. He allegedly obtained a $5 million construction loan under false premises and used much of that money for purposes not allowed under the terms of the loan, and “repeatedly provided false information” to bookkeepers, consultants and lawyers.
According to Zillow.com, the property is worth roughly $4.4 million.
The Real Deal reported in February that neighbors complained the empty house has become an eyesore, “with piles of snow, steel beams and dirty cinder blocks littering the front yard.”
If convicted of the charges, Manafort will be required to forfeit the property, along with others, including one at 29 Howard St. in Manhattan, a property in Water Mill, New York, and a property in Arlington, Virginia.
Property can be seized by the federal government if it can be shown the property is the proceeds of several types of criminal activity, including money laundering.
Manafort’s associate Rick Gates has also been indicted. According to CNN, both men turned themselves in to special counsel Mueller on Monday. Additionally, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
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