Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty to state fraud charges. He was accused of falsifying business records and running a multimillion-dollar residential mortgage fraud scheme in New York.
State prosecutors charged Manafort, 70, with 16 counts of fraud. He is already serving a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence after being convicted of bank fraud, tax fraud and foreign lobbying violations in a separate case. Former special counsel Robert Mueller brought the federal charges against Manafort.
Manafort allegedly falsified business records to secure millions of dollars in mortgage loans on residential properties in New York. The scam occurred between December 2015 and January 2017.
Manafort faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted. Trump has the power to issue a presidential pardon for his federal crimes. However, he does not have the same authority over a conviction in state court. Manafort will be held in federal custody for the duration of the state case proceedings.
Manafort’s attorney said he plans to have the state charges dismissed based on New York’s double jeopardy clause. The law prevents a defendant from being prosecuted a second time on the same charges. Some of the alleged crimes in the indictment mirror the charges that Mueller brought forth.