Ex Trump campaign chairman Manafort sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison

Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 15:19:34-05

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in federal prison for tax and bank fraud, a significantly shorter sentence than prosecutors had sought.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis handed down the sentence in federal court in Virginia Thursday afternoon. Ellis said Manafort committed “undeniably serious” crimes and expressed surprise that Manafort did not “express regret for engaging in wrongful conduct.”

Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of between 19.5 to 24 years behind bars, with an attorney from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office telling the court Manafort “failed to accept responsibility and is not remorseful.”

Sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of between 17.5 to nearly 22 years based on the charges. In recent weeks his legal team had requested a “significantly” lower sentence than the length recommended by prosecutors.

Before learning his fate, Manafort addressed the court, telling Ellis his life is in “shambles” and asking for leniency.

“The last two years have been the most difficult of my life,” Manafort said. “To say I am humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”

Manafort was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair for Thursday’s hearing, holding a cane and wearing a green prison jumpsuit. He appeared much thinner than he was when he was first taken into custody in June 2018.

Manafort was convicted last year on eight counts, including tax fraud and bank fraud, after a trial in Virginia. Prosecutors said he hid millions of dollars of income for his work on behalf of foreign governments and misled financial institutions to finance a lavish lifestyle.

After his conviction in Virginia, Manafort struck a plea deal to avoid a second trial on conspiracy charges in Washington, D.C. A federal judge determined in February he had breached his plea agreement by lying to the government, and he is scheduled to be sentenced in the D.C. case next week.

The sentencing hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, began just after 4 p.m.