March 13 (UPI) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will serve a total of 7.5 years in prison for conspiracy and bank and tax fraud after 43 more months were added Wednesday, just before new charges were filed in New York City.
Immediately after Wednesday’s sentence in Washington, D.C. District Court, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced state fraud charges that could add to his prison time. There are 16 new charges in all, including mortgage fraud.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said. “A Manhattan grand jury has charged Mr. Manafort with state criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests, including the integrity of our residential mortgage market.”
Earlier Wednesday, Washington, D.C., District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to the additional time, to be added to nearly four years he received in another case last week. Jackson gave him a longer sentence but some will be served concurrently.
Manafort’s sentence stemmed from his guilty plea for lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political figure without declaring the work, making it a key part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Manafort said in court he’s “sorry for what I have done.”
“I will be 70 years old in a few weeks. My wife is 66. I am her primary caregiver … this case has taken enough from me already. Please let my wife and I be together,” Manafort asked Jackson, The Atlantic reported.
Jackson indicated she thought Manafort’s plea was an appeal to President Donald Trump for a pardon, something the president has not ruled out. Jackson said Manafort committed fraud so he could live a lavish lifestyle.
“It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the amount of money involved,” Jackson said. “A significant portion of his career has been spent gaming the system.”
The new charges from New York are significant because Trump can’t pardon him for crimes at the state level, guaranteeing that Manafort will serve at least some prison time.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in Virginia federal court sentenced Manafort to prison for 47 months for bank and tax fraud related to consulting and lobbying work he did in Ukraine.
Prosecutors described Manafort as a “hardened” criminal who “repeatedly and brazenly violated the law” for more than a decade and said he continued to operate illegally after he was indicted in 2017. Mueller’s office said he continued to engage in witness tampering, perjury and making false statements after entering a guilty plea. He did cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, conducting more than 50 hours of interviews.
Defense attorneys argued a lengthy prison term would amount to a life sentence for Manafort, given his age and the fact he has gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis.