The evidence against President Trump's ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort is so strong it could land him behind bars for the rest of his life, according to a federal judge's order made public Tuesday.
Ellis also wrote that Manafort has the means to escape and would certainly try to do so given the opportunity.
Paul Manafort, now facing charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller in two separate courts, is "a person of great wealth who has the financial means and global connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so", U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis wrote in an order setting bail terms.
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The judge's order puts Manafort on "24-hour-a-day lockdown" at his Alexandria home with the exception of medical appointments or emergencies, court appearances, and visits with his attorneys. Manafort is also required to wear two bracelets at all times that allow his movements to be tracked by Global Positioning System.
While Ellis did not mandate Manafort forfeit any assets, Ellis did order that the defendant agree to and sign a pledge to pay a $10 million unsecured bond if he misses a court appearance. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, has rejected prior offers from Manafort, saying that it was not clear that the available value in the properties after any mortgages amounted to the $10 million figure she is seeking. His court date in DC is September 17.
Manafort, who was first indicted in October as part of Mueller's special counsel investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election, pleaded not guilty to both indictments. He faces eighteen counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and bank fraud conspiracy at a federal trial court in Alexandria, Va., and twelve counts of money laundering, conspiracy against the United States, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) at the federal trial court in Washington, D.C.
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If convicted, Manafort faces up to almost 20 years in prison in the Washington case and up to 10 years on the tax charges in the Virginia case. The second tranche of charges were preparing and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Each of the nine bank fraud or bank conspiracy charges that Manafort faces carry a maximum 30-year sentence, Politico reported.
In late February, Manafort's longtime business partner, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to a dramatically reduced set of charges in federal court in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller's probe.
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