POLITICS

Indictment In Russia Probe Exposes Paul Manafort’s ‘Lavish' Real Estate

Drain the swamp.

10/30/2017 14:27 EDT | Updated 10/30/2017 14:28 EDT

WASHINGTON ― Monday’s indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in the investigation of possible collusion with Russia in last year’s election revealed an alleged money-laundering scheme with former business associate Rick Gates that transferred more than $75 million.

Manafort “used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” and “spent millions of dollars on luxury goods for himself and his extended family,” according to the indictment.

Manafort laundered money through various businesses, including nearly $1 million at an antique rug store in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, and more than $5 million at a home improvement company in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, the indictment says. Other purchases included a Mercedes Benz and a Range Rover.

He spent millions, according to the indictment, to buy or renovate “multi-million dollar properties” in suburban Washington, New York City, and the Hamptons. The indictment describes how he arranged the real estate transactions, matching previous reporting about the purchases. For example, WNYC in New York reported earlier this year:

Manafort’s New York City transactions follow a pattern: Using shell companies, he purchased the homes in all-cash deals, then transferred the properties into his own name for no money and then took out hefty mortgages against them, according to property records.

Prosecutors said they would move to seize the properties. Here’s a look at Manafort’s homes listed in the indictment.

Manhattan Loft 

In 2012, Manafort bought a $2.85 million loft in Soho, which the indictment says he falsely claimed was for his daughter. The unit featured “a key-locked elevator [which] opens directly into the loft’s enormous entertaining space,” and a “fabulous master suite,” including “an enormous walk-in closet & a luxurious marble bath with steam shower, soaking tub, Waterworks fixtures & Urban Archaeology tiles,” according to a real estate listing. 

StreetEasy
The loft's kitchen, from a prior real estate listing.

The loft typically fetches about $15,000 a month in rent, according to real estate listingsManafort also rented the property on Airbnb, according to the indictment.

Brooklyn Brownstone

That same year, Manafort bought a four-story brownstone in Carroll Gardens, which the indictment says he also claimed was for his daughter. For years, the home was in a state of disarray, with abandoned renovations and an unkempt yard. Earlier this year, neighbors did some sleuthing and discovered that the vacant home belonged to Manafort, posting their findings on a neighborhood blog called Pardon Me For Asking.

“This isn’t simply a case of a famous or rich person buying a house for their own purposes and nosey people digging into their dirt,” a commenter on the blog wrote. “This is the case of an eyesore on a nice block that the owners are purposely neglecting.”

Responding to a New York Post article in May, Manafort insisted that the renovations were ongoing.

“I have engaged an architect and contractor to complete the construction within the next year,” he said in a statement. “Our permit is in place, workers have been there this week, and I am pleased to say progress is being made.”

Arlington, Virginia, House

The foursquare-style home, valued at $1.75 million, boasts of an “open-floor plan” and a “chef’s kitchen with top of the line appliances,” according to a prior real estate listing.

Realtor.com
The interior of the home, from a prior real estate listing.

Hamptons Mansion

According to county real estate records, the 5,574-square-foot home is valued at almost $5.6 million and contains 10 bedrooms and six bathrooms. Manafort spent several million dollars on landscaping and renovations for the house, according to the indictment.

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