WASHINGTON – Some time soon, federal authorities will begin selling off what’s left of Paul Manafort’s life, a small fortune amassed through a decade of illicit lobbying work. When they do, the investigation into Russian election interference stands to breach an unusual milestone: bringing in more money than it has cost.
But first, lawyers working for special counsel Robert Mueller must reach a deal with another set of opponents, including the Trump Tower condo board.
A handful of banks and the Trump Tower Residential Condominium Board have lined up to argue that they’re entitled to parts of the properties and investment accounts valued at about $26.7 million that the former Trump campaign chairman has been forced to give up as part of plea agreement with Mueller’s team. Included in the package of New York real estate is a $7.3 million compound in the Hamptons and a $3.8 million apartment in Manhattan’s Trump Tower.
Many of the claims could be resolved as early as this week, according to court documents.
When they are, the investigation Trump has dismissed as a witch hunt and a waste of money will more or less have paid for itself. Mueller’s probe has posted costs of about $25 million so far. Exactly how much the government stands to collect will turn on how much of his property must be turned over to banks and others, and to New York’s fluctuating real estate market.
In addition to Manafort’s fortune, the government stands to collect about $1.9 million from other people charged as a result of Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller: He hasn’t said a word since the investigation began. It’s possible he never will.
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