Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Paul Manafort and the millions he failed to pay the IRS in taxes. Due to the brief time Manafort spent as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager during the 2016 election, Manafort’s tax fraud and other crimes were often spun based on political leanings. However, the fact remains that the millions Manafort owed and the lengths to which he went to defraud the IRS are astonishing. Here are a few of the highlights that make this story so extraordinary.
Manafort was first arrested in October 2017 on a series of charges that included engaging in a conspiracy to launder money and failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. Prosecutors claimed Manafort laundered more than $18 million and that he failed to report at least $16 million in taxable income between 2010 and 2014. A great deal of his unreported income came from the Ukraine, where Manafort worked as a political consultant.
In an attempt to hide this income and pay less than he owed to the IRS, Manafort would falsely classify income as a loan and list false business expenses, like claiming to have paid 132,000 euros to a yacht company or $45,000 for cosmetic dentistry. Additionally, when filing his taxes in 2012, Manafort didn’t disclose that he had a foreign bank account. At this time, Manafort in fact had 30 foreign bank accounts around the world in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom.
When all was said and done, Manafort was hit with 18 different charges and faced 80 years in prison. In August 2018, a jury found Manafort guilty of eight of those charges, including all five counts of tax fraud. Manafort has since pleaded guilty to other charges, and the case is still ongoing.
Pail Manafort may have enjoyed a long, powerful political career, but when the IRS comes knocking, they always get what they’re owed.