Manafort, 71, was charged in New York State Supreme Court with mortgage fraud, but his lawyers argued last year that the case too closely mirrored his 2018 federal conviction on bank fraud charges. The case was brought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and widely seen as an attempt to guarantee that Manafort would still serve prison time should Trump move to pardon him. Justice Maxwell Wiley tossed it in December.
The district attorney’s office filed its appeal in April. It public disclosure was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the state charges were based on the same conduct covered in one of Manafort’s federal cases, the district attorney’s office argued in its new filing that there are distinct elements contained in Manafort’s state indictment that exempt it from double jeopardy — the legal premise that protects a defendant from being convicted of the same offense twice.
A lawyer for Manafort declined to comment.
Manafort’s legal team is expected to address the filing by next month, and the appellate court could hear arguments in September, said a person familiar with the tentative schedule who spoke on the condition on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.
Manafort initially was ensnared in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in federal custody but released to home confinement in May because of the pandemic, which has ravaged jails and prisons.
In tossing the indictment late last year, Wiley said the case failed to overcome double jeopardy because the criminal charges Manafort faced in state court were designed to combat the same “harms” as the federal charges were meant to. “The law of double jeopardy in New York state,” he said, “provides a very narrow window for prosecution.”
The district attorney’s office argued in its new filing that statutes, legislative history and case law show “the state offenses were enacted to safeguard distinct classes of victims, from those protected by the federal offenses.”
Vance announced the state charges against Manafort in March 2019, accusing him of fraudulently obtaining $19 million in mortgage loans and a $1 million line of credit from Citizens Bank, Federal Savings Bank and Banc of California.
In Manafort’s federal case in Virginia, the jury deadlocked on 10 counts which were later dismissed as part of a plea deal that fused his federal prosecutions there and in Washington. Manhattan prosecutors said that seven of the federal counts corresponded to state-level charges that they pressed, and that it was fair game to bring the case after the way things shook out in the federal courts.