Banker indicted for bribing Paul Manafort for role in Trump administration

Paul Manafort. Photo: Instagram

May 24 (UPI) — Federal Savings Bank Chairman and CEO Stephen Calk attempted to bribe President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman for a role in his administration, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss of the Southern District of New York said Calk, 54, approved $16 million in high-risk loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “in an effort to secure a personal benefit, namely to an appointment as secretary of the army or another similar high-level position” in Trump’s administration, NBC News reported.

According to the indictment, Calk provided Manafort with a ranked list of positions that he desired in the administration, including two high-ranking positions at the U.S. Treasury, secretary of commerce and secretary of defense as well as 19 ambassadorships to countries such as France, Germany and Italy.

Manafort received three separate loans from Federal Savings Bank in December 2016 and January 2017 in order to avoid foreclosure on three homes in New York and Virginia.

Prosecutors said Calk was appointed to Trump’s council of economic advisers in August 2016, days after his bank approved a $9.5 million loan to Manafort. He also interviewed for a position as undersecretary of the Army in 2017 at the recommendation of Manafort, who had more than $6 million in loans pending approval at the bank.

Calk was not hired for the Army position or any of the other administration positions he requested.

Calk was arrested Thursday morning in Manhattan and later pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a $5 million personal recognizance bond.

Under the terms of his bail Calk surrendered his passport and is required to hand over any firearms he owns within a week. He is also barred from contacting a list of witnesses outside of the presence of his lawyer.

Manafort has been sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for conspiracy and bank and tax fraud after pleading guilty to lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political figure without declaring the work.


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