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Paul Manafort Found Guilty on 8 Counts of Financial Crimes

Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, arrives at Federal District Court for a hearing May 23, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — On the fourth day of deliberations, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight financial crimes linked to hiding cash in offshore shell companies and falsifying his income to get millions of dollars in loans.

Manafort was charged with five counts of filing a false tax return, four counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts, five counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and four counts of bank fraud. He was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison. He had faced a maximum penalty of 305 years behind bars on all charges.

Manafort looked at the jury as the verdicts were read and did not show emotion.

Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on 10 counts on which jurors said they couldn’t arrive at a consensus. The Justice Department has not yet announced whether Manafort will be retried on those counts; they have until Aug. 29 to decide. Next month in the D.C. Circuit, he faces another trial on charges of operating as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to investigators.

After two weeks of testimony and more than two dozen witnesses taking the stand as special counsel Robert Mueller’s team laid out their case, and the defense opting not to present a case, jurors entered deliberations last week.

Witnesses included Manafort’s former deputy, Rick Gates, who testified for two and a half days.

Gates testified that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the U.S. government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans. He also admitted to embezzling from his former employer by turning in false expense reports.

Gates struck a deal with Mueller in February, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the FBI.

Manafort was on Trump’s campaign team from March to August 2016, starting as a delegate-wrangler and serving as campaign chairman in the last three months. Gates came on board the Trump campaign with Manafort and stayed for the duration of the campaign, later serving as deputy chairman for Trump’s inaugural committee and then starting a pro-Trump PAC.

The judge has blocked the release of the names of the six women and six men on the jury, citing threats that have been made to his own safety. The jury was not sequestered during the trial, and told the judge that they did not want their identities revealed.

This morning, jurors sent the judge note asking how they should fill out the verdict form “if we cannot come to a consensus on a single count” and “what does that mean for the final verdict.”

Ellis called it “not an exceptional or unusual event in a jury trial” and asked the jury to go back and deliberate some more in hopes of reaching consensus.