Photo via CBS News.

Paul Manafort sentenced 47 months in prison

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in federal prison for tax and bank fraud, a significantly shorter sentence than prosecutors had sought.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis handed down the sentence in federal court in Virginia Thursday afternoon. He said Manafort committed “undeniably serious” crimes and expressed surprise that he did not “express regret for engaging in wrongful conduct.”

But Ellis also said the government’s recommendation of 19.5 to 24 years behind bars was “unwarranted” and “excessive,” adding that Manafort has “lived an otherwise blameless life.”

The sentence includes three years of supervised release after his prison term. Manafort must also pay $24 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine. He will receive credit for time served and be held in a federal facility in Cumberland, Maryland.

An attorney from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office told the court Manafort “failed to accept responsibility and is not remorseful.” In recent weeks Manafort’s legal team had requested a “significantly” lower sentence than the length recommended by prosecutors.

Before learning his fate, Manafort addressed the court, telling Ellis his life is in “shambles” and asking for leniency.

“The last two years have been the most difficult of my life,” Manafort said. “To say I am humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”

Manafort, 69, was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair for Thursday’s hearing, holding a cane and wearing a green prison jumpsuit. He appeared much thinner than he was when he was first taken into custody in June 2018.

Manafort was convicted last year on eight counts, including tax fraud and bank fraud, after a trial in Virginia. Prosecutors said he hid millions of dollars of income for his work on behalf of foreign governments and misled financial institutions to finance a lavish lifestyle.

After his conviction in Virginia, Manafort struck a plea deal to avoid a second trial on conspiracy charges in Washington, D.C. A federal judge determined in February he had breached his plea agreement by lying to the government. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the D.C. case next week.

The sentencing hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, began just after 4 p.m.

Author: Grace Segers/CBS News
SHARE