28 September, 2022

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Paul Manafort can keep millions in real estate after pardon

Paul Manafort, ex-campaign manager for former President Trump, will keep nearly $20 million worth of New York and Hamptons real estate, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Manafort, who was convicted of a massive fraud scheme tied to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine, was pardoned by Trump during his last days in office in December.

The ruling in US District Court in Washington, D.C., dismisses a 2018 forfeiture action against Manafort, and will allow him to hold on to his sprawling 10-bedroom Water Mill estate, which features a swimming pool, putting green and tennis court. He will also keep a Brooklyn brownstone, valued at $4 million, and a $3.5 million Chinatown apartment, according to court papers.

Manafort, 71, had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for tax fraud and witness tampering. He was released last year to serve out the remainder of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus. He was convicted in 2018 in an investigation led by special prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In addition to the real estate, Manafort will hold on to a savings account with an undisclosed balance, according to court filings.

In his $22 million plea deal with Mueller, Manafort had agreed to forfeit a total of five properties, his life insurance and savings account. Manafort had been forced to give up a 1,500-square foot apartment on the 43rd floor of Trump Tower. US Marshals had also put a SoHo loft Manafort owned at 29 Howard St on the market for $3.66 million.

Manafort had transferred his 4,000-square foot Palm Beach mansion to his wife Kathleen for $10 following his plea deal with Mueller in 2018.