The former Trump campaign chief was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison after being convicted of tax and bank fraud. The 69-year-old was originally facing 19 to 24 years behind bars; however, Judge T.S. Ellis said such a punishment would be “excessive,” as Manafort “has lived an otherwise blameless life.”
“Let me be clear: the guidelines would suggest sentencing is a calculation. It is not. It is a judgment,” Ellis said, according to NBC News.
The judge made sure to point out that Manafort’s conviction had nothing to do with the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia; however, his offenses were brought to light as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Trump-Russia probe.
Back in August 2018, Manafort was found guilty of eight charges, which include filing false tax returns, defrauding banks that had lent him money, and failure to report foreign assets.
“Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” prosecutors wrote in the memo to Ellis last month. “The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes.”
As part of Thursday’s court decision, Manafort was ordered to pay $24.8 million in restitution as well as a $50,000 fine. He will also be placed on three years of supervision once he completes his 47-month sentence.
Following his sentencing, Manafort thanked Ellis for the way he handled the case but did not issue an apology for his crimes.
“I appreciate the fairness of the trial you conducted,” he said in court. “My life is professionally and financially in shambles.”
Though he got off easy in Friday’s sentencing, Manafort is still plagued with uncertainty. The disgraced lobbyist will be sentenced to a separate, but related set of crimes next week in Washington, D.C. The case includes charges of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying, witness tampering, and conspiracy against the United States.