The Curious Case Of Paul Manafort And His $15,000 Ostrich Jacket

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While Manafort spent thousands of dollars of allegedly laundered money, there is simply no explanation for the $15,000 Ostrich jacket.

 

 

President Donald Trump’s former Campaign Chair Paul Manafort’s trial, on the charges ranging from money laundering to acting as an unregistered agent of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government and conspiracy against the United States, just finished its first day.

And there were some rather interesting revelations about where all the allegedly laundered money went.

At the time of his indictment, it was revealed Manafort spent like there is no tomorrow — from thousands of dollars worth of antique rugs ($934,350 to be precise) to expensive cars and watches, he did it all.

Manafort lived in an apartment in Trump Tower in 2006 way before he became the chairman for Trump’s campaign.

According to WNYC,  this was right around the time his lobbying firm signed a $10 million contract with a Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska — an overseas intermediary whom Manafort agreed to give personal briefings about the state of Trump’s presidential campaign, creating a potential opening for Russian interests at the highest level of a U.S. presidential campaign.

In 2012, he allegedly wired $2.85 million from offshore accounts to buy a Manhattan condo. He rented it out later using Airbnb to generate cash.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asoyne, who is working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the case, gave out specifics to Manafort’s lavish lifestyle which was acquired from his "secret income.”

And it had one of the most outrageous buys of all: a $15,000 jacket — made from an ostrich.

While top designer brands do work with ostrich leather, it is hardly a look the former Trump campaign chair can flaunt. Nonetheless, he bought the piece, in what looked like a case of spending money for the sake of it.

Manafort’s attorney Thomas Zehnle, whose client faces up to 300 years in prison if proven guilty of all charges, placed all of the crime on the Trump chair’s deputy, Rick Gates.

Gates, who has pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and lying to the FBI, had other charges against him the Virginia case, which were dropped after his plea deal.

Zehlne called Gates the prosecution’s “star witness” and accused him of embezzling money from Manafort.

While Zehnle managed to pin the blame on Gates for betraying Manafort’s “trust,” he had no explanation for the Ostrich jacket.

To be fair to Manafort’s attorney, no one would.

Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Bill Hennessy

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