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Manafort gets to keep 3 properties thanks to Trump pardon

Justice Department officials announced they will no longer pursue the forfeiture of three properties owned by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort because the pardon from Donald Trump negated the penalties, Politico reports.

The Trump pardon made moot any penalties that were not assessed at the time the pardon was issued on December 23rd.  This includes an $11 million, 10-bedroom, 6-bath house in Bridgehampton, New York, as well as an apartment in Trump Tower, an apartment in Chinatown and a townhouse in Brooklyn.

It is unclear how much of the $40+ million dollar forfeiture will be impacted by the pardon or must be returned, particularly the cash involved in the schemes Manafort committed.  Any asset that was already turned over to the government typically would not be returned; the properties, however, were still in various phases of transfer at the time the pardon was issued.

“The department has determined that due to President Trump’s full and unconditional pardon of Paul Manafort, it is necessary to dismiss the criminal forfeiture proceedings involving the four assets which were the subject of the on-going forfeiture ancillary proceedings,” a Justice Department spokesman said Friday afternoon.

A Manafort associate asserted that the properties will do little to help Manafort because he had significant debt to private creditors that still to be settled.  At least one of the properties, the Trump Tower apartment, has an outstanding mortgage at least as much, if not more, than the value of the property.

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