Feds take possession of Paul Manafort's Trump Tower condo

The longtime GOP operative agreed to forfeit the property after he pleaded guilty to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Image: Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chief, arrives for a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington on June 15, 2018.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Tom Winter

The U.S. government now owns a Trump Tower condo compliments of Paul Manafort.

A federal judge on Thursday granted the Justice Department's request to seize the choice piece of New York City real estate that was formerly owned by Manafort, Trump's ex-campaign manager.

Manafort agreed to forfeit the Fifth Avenue property, along with four others, after he pleaded guilty in September 2018 to conspiracy charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election interference.

The U.S. Marshals will now execute a sale of the apartment, provided they get a price that is higher than the amount outstanding on the loan from UBS bank, according to the order from Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

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Manafort took out a loan of $3 million in 2015, but it's unclear how much of it has been paid down.

Jackson also granted the government's request to take control of three bank accounts belonging to Manafort, including one at Federal Savings Bank. The Federal Savings financial chairman and CEO Stephen Calk was charged last week with attempting to exchange $16 million in loans to Manafort for a top position within the Trump administration.

Manafort, 70, is serving a 7 1/2-year federal prison sentence.

Before he pleaded guilty in the case in Washington, the longtime GOP operative was convicted by a Virginia jury in August 2018 on eight separate felony counts, including five counts of tax fraud, one count of failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.