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Manafort was accused of hiding tens of millions of dollars from the USA tax authorities which were paid as consulting fees for the work he did over the years for Russian-backed Ukrainian politicians.

While prosecutors had not recommended a specific sentence, they had cited federal sentencing guidelines that called for 19-1/2 to 24 years in prison. While he faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in the Washington case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson potentially could stack that on top of whatever prison time Ellis imposes in Virginia, rather than allowing the sentences to run concurrently.

Judge Ellis also noted during the hearing that Manafort "is not before the court for any allegations that he, or anyone at his direction, colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election".

Manafort's ties to Kilimnik unspooled later in a related case against him in Washington, where Manafort pleaded guilty on September 14 to two conspiracy charges and promised to cooperate with prosecutors.

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Manafort, 69, spoke to the judge while seated in a wheelchair. He did not express remorse for his actions but talked about how the case has been hard for him and his family.

"The real essence of his violation is that he stole from us, the people who pay their taxes", Ellis said of Manafort. "My life, personally and professionally, is in shambles".

Paul Manafort had been convicted on eight felonies related to tax and bank fraud charges for hiding foreign income from his work in Ukraine from the US Inland Revenue Service and later inflating his income on bank loan applications.

Manafort's was the first indictment Mueller announced in late 2017 and it used the criminal prosecution to ratchet up pressure on him throughout 2018 as they sought his cooperation on matters central to their probe.

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Prosecutors stated that Manafort "poses a serious risk of recidivism", noting his "lies to the government and grand jury are aggravating factors and an additional basis for the denial of any reduction for the acceptance of responsibility".

Ellis presided over Manafort's trial and was preparing to hand down his punishment for bank and tax fraud.

Poorly redacted court filings show that Manafort and Kilimnik discussed polling data related to Trump's campaign, raising the possibility that they may have served as a conduit between Trump and the Kremlin. However, in the proceedings in D.C. over the breach of his plea deal, there have been hints at what in Manafort Mueller's team see as being at the "heart" of their probe. Now we wonder whether President Trump will issue a pardon.

Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is to begin serving a three-year prison sentence on May 6 for fraud, tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress. But prosecutor Greg Andres argued that those details weren't relevant in the Virginia matter because Manafort chose to fight the Virginia case and because a federal judge in D.C. found that Manafort lied after he had agreed to cooperate with the government.

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Manafort, they argued in court papers on Tuesday, "blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices".


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