Gates explained Tuesday how he and Manafort opened up bank accounts in Cyprus using "shelf" companies created and nominally maintained by a Cypriot law firm to make it more hard for law enforcement agencies to find a paper trail or fingerprints tying Manafort to the accounts.
"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".
Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort's "right-hand man", to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme.
Ellis, a Ronald Reagan appointee, clashed with government Prosecutor Greg Andres again on Monday in the second week of the federal trial of political operative and short-time Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, thus adding more fuel to the fire of displeasure the Judge has displayed toward the prosecution since the trial began.
Manafort's defence attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.
Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents. Gates' admission, on his first day of testimony under a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is key to rebutting the prime counter-narrative that Manafort is trying to tell the jury: that. He'll continue to face friendlier questioning from prosecutors for a bit, then face off with Manafort's defense team, who opened the trial with a blistering attack laying the blame for everything at Gates's feet.
Andres spent the morning questioning Manafort's longtime deputy, Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the United States and one charge of lying to an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in exchange for testifying against his former boss. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort.
In one exchange, Ellis interrupted Andres during Gates' testimony about his travels, according to Politico.
Gates' account appeared to bolster the prosecution's assertions that Manafort was in full control of his finances and directing Gates' actions.More news: Angelina Jolie alleges Brad Pitt hasn't paid any 'meaningful child' support
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During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday.
After yet another interruption by Ellis and pushback by Andres, Ellis shouted, "Next question". Both cases are connected to work Manafort and Gates did for the Ukrainian government.
Manafort is facing charges with laundering of money he earned while working in Ukraine. "I relied on Rick Gates".
The tough questioning of Gates came after he spent hours telling jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort's tax bill.
Later, when Yanukovych fell out of power and fled to Russian Federation, the business struggled and prosecutors say Manafort lied to banks to obtain loans to help maintain his life of luxury.
In addition to those crimes, Gates also revealed other criminal conduct.
Gates admitted on Monday that he did steal money through inflated expense reports, but he said it was hundreds of thousands of dollars, not millions. The first witness - Tad Devine, a Democratic political strategist who worked on Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign - took the stand to tell jurors about work he did with Manafort in Ukraine.
Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told U.S. District Judge T.S.Ellis III that he meant to present evidence of the embezzlement while he was doing his examination of a Manafort accountant who testified last week that she knowingly filed false tax returns on Manafort's behalf.