Before he was chairman of Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, Palm Beach Gardens resident Paul Manafort used seven Florida businesses in a scheme to launder money from Ukraine, according to the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller unsealed this morning.
The indictment also alleges that Manafort used wire transfers from foreign accounts to obtain more than $1.7 million worth of goods and services from three Florida businesses — described in the court filing only as “Vendor B,” “Vendor J” and “Vendor R” — without paying taxes on the income.
The indictment says Manafort “resided in homes in Virginia, Florida and Long Island, New York.” Manafort has a homestead exemption and is registered to vote at an address in BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens. He registered to vote in Palm Beach County in 2011 and cast his 2016 ballot for president at an early voting site in the county.
Trump this morning seized on the fact that the activities in the criminal complaint against Manafort and associate Richard W. Gates III occurred before Manafort served as Trump campaign chairman from June to August of 2016.
“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????” Trump tweeted this morning.
In a follow-up tweet, the president said, “….Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”
The indictment says Manafort and Gates “generated tens of millions of dollars in income” by acting as unregistered agents of the Ukrainian government and two Ukrainian political parties between 2006 and 2015, then “laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts.”
The indictment says 17 domestic entities controlled by Manafort or Gates were used in the scheme to launder the money, with seven of those businesses incorporated in Florida.
The Florida businesses mentioned in the indictment are:
• Daisy Manafort LLC, incorporated in Delaware in January 2012 and Florida in March 2011. Florida records list Manafort as a manager and his Palm Beach Gardens home as its mailing address.
• DMP, incorporated in Virgninia in March 2005 and Florida in March 2011. Florida records show a Davis Manafort Partners Inc., inactive since 2013, with a Virginia business address that lists Manafort as its president and director.
• DMI, incorporated in Delaware in June 2011 and Florida in March 2012. Florida records show a DMP International incorporated in March 2012 with a Delaware address and Manafort listed as manager.
• Jesand Investments Corporation, incorporated in March 2011. Florida records list Manafort as president.
• John Hannah, LLC, incorporated in Virginia in April 2006 and Florida in March 2011. Manafort is listed as manager and his home as the business address in Florida records.
• Lilred, LLC, incorporated in Florida in December 2011. The business lists a New Jersey address and Manafort as manager.
• MC Soho Holdings, LLC, incorporated in Florida in January 2012 and in New York in April 2012. Manafort is listed as manager in Florida records and his home is listed as the principal address of the business.
The indictment says Manafort and Gates used millions of dollars worth of wire transfers from offshore accounts into the U.S. to buy goods, services and real estate but did not report the transfers as income.
The indictment says the money went to 19 vendors, including three from Florida:
• Vendor B, described in the indictment as a “home automation, lighting and home entertainment company in Florida,” received $1.3 million in wire transfers from 2011 to 2013 from accounts in Cyprus, the United Kingdom and the Grenadines.
• Vendor J, described as a “contractor in Florida,” received transfers totaling $432,487 from 2011 to 2013 from accounts in Cyprus, the indictment says.
• Vendor R, an “art gallery in Florida,” received wire transfers from Cyprus in 2011 and 2013 totaling $31,900, the indictment says.