Trump Tower and Robert Mueller reach a deal over Paul Manafort’s condo fees
Trump Tower’s condo board has made a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office over who will pay Paul Manafort’s condo fees.
The situation, one of the more poetic conclusions to a Mueller case, arose because Manafort forfeited his apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan as part of his conspiracy, foreign lobbying and money laundering guilty plea deal.
The former Trump campaign chairman loses the 1,500-square-foot Fifth Avenue condo, and it will be sold by the US Marshals Service, according to proposals filed in court.
UBS Bank, where Manafort had a $3 million mortgage on the property, will be repaid nearly in full after the sale. But the US government still has to pay for condominium charges Manafort owes and that are still incurring.
Much of Manafort’s assets have been locked down by the government during his arrest, and he has been in jail since June 2018. He’ll be sentenced for his crimes next month.
Manafort used his Trump Tower condo, with its two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, as a home base for years when he and his wife traveled to New York. That included during the campaign. His residence there was even part of his pitch to Donald Trump to hire him onto the 2016 campaign, according to The New York Times.
Manafort bought the condo — near the top of the 58-floor golden skyscraper — more than a decade ago for $3.675 million. To close the sale, he used a shell company called John Hannah, which prosecutors alleged hid his foreign lobbying revenue from the IRS and other US authorities. Manafort and his wife took out the mortgage with UBS in April 2015, a year when Manafort went into debt as his Ukrainian lobbying work dried up.
A year later, Manafort joined the Trump campaign, where he took no pay.
Manafort had paid off none of the mortgage for the condo, the bank’s court filings said.
The prosecutors have reached settlements on several other properties seized from Manafort, and will be giving many of the assets to banks and others he owed.
The DC-based federal judge overseeing Manafort’s criminal case and forfeiture proceeding has not yet signed off on the settlement with the Trump Tower condo board. She has approved the settlement with UBS Bank over the Manafort apartment.