Do Manafort Charges Signal More Scrutiny for International Consulting Work?

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Paul Manafort’s indictment on charges related to his international consulting work could change how firms manage overseas relationships.

Manafort is accused of laundering $18 million, which was used to fund a “lavish lifestyle” in the United States. The money stemmed from his work in Ukraine from 2006 through 2015 for Viktor Yanukovych, the former president, and his political party, the Opposition Bloc, also known as the Party of Regions.

In order to hide the payments from the federal government from 2006 through “at least” 2016, Manafort and his business partner, Richard Gates, “laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts,” according to the feds’ indictment. A total of $75 million flowed through entities in Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Seychelles.

In addition to the $18 million Manafort is accused of laundering, Gates transferred $3 million to accounts he controlled, the feds allege. Both Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Moreover, despite directing an approximately $2.2 million lobbying effort in DC on Yanukovych’s behalf, Manafort didn’t register as a foreign agent until June 2017, an alleged violation of federal disclosure laws. During the investigation, Manafort and Gates told the FBI that they did not “recall meeting with or conducting outreach” to U.S. government officials and media outlets on their Ukrainian client’s behalf.
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