Rick Gates Denies Embezzling Money From Manafort’s Company To Finance Affair

"While the firm believes that her actions were related only to work she performed for Mr. Manafort, and that no other client was affected, a detailed, independent internal review is being conducted to confirm that her activity was isolated", the firm said in the statement.

Rick Gates, the government's star witness against Manafort at his tax-fraud trial, told jurors that Manafort was "not happy" when he learned how much he'd have to shell out in taxes.

The admission, made during cross-examination from Manafort's attorneys, was part of Gates' second day of testimony against Manafort, who's now on trial for money laundering and fraud charges from his work as a pro-Russian lobbyist in Ukraine.

"In essence, you had four people setting up a Cypriot entity", but without the name of the person in charge appearing on most of the documents. "WTF", Manafort wrote in an email to Gates, according to testimony, after learning accountants had added liabilities. After Manafort resigned as the campaign's chairman in August 2016, Gates stayed on and eventually worked on Mr. Trump's inauguration.

On Monday and earlier Tuesday, Gates testified that he and Manafort had engaged in numerous improper financial maneuvers involving their work in Ukraine, but Gates, 46, pinned the responsibility on Manafort.

Manafort's defense attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, a liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct.

Undercutting Gates' credibility is the foundation of Manafort's defense.

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Downing also mentioned allegations of insider trading, and discussed Gates' relationship with film producer Steven Brown, who is accused of engaging in a scheme to defraud investors in D-list films.

"I haven't", Gates replied, explaining that the money went into his personal accounts and was spent over the years.

During Gates' testimony on Tuesday, Manafort stared coldly at Gates as the business partner-turned-witness testified against him.

Gates also testified that he received a "template" from attorneys in Cyprus which he then used to create fake "consultancy agreements" at Manafort's direction.

Gates walked into a packed courtroom a day after he calmly acknowledged having embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and said the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

The testimony came as prosecutors wrapped up their questioning of Gates mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Downing began his cross-examination of Gates Tuesday afternoon by trying to highlight for the jury Gates' lies to both the special counsel and to Manafort.

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