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Paul Manafort agrees to pay $3.15 million to settle with Justice Dept.

The settlement relates to a civil lawsuit the government brought over foreign bank accounts

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager to Donald Trump, outside U.S. District Court in Washington in 2017. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
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Paul J. Manafort, a longtime fixture in Republican politics who briefly managed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, agreed to pay $3.15 million to settle a civil case brought by the Justice Department last year over foreign bank accounts that he did not declare to United States officials, according to his lawyer and court documents.

Jeffrey Neiman, a lawyer for Manafort, confirmed the settlement in a brief telephone interview on Sunday and said his client “is happy to have this chapter of his life behind him.”

The settlement was announced in paperwork dated Feb. 22 and filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida where Manafort resides. It was reported Saturday by the Florida Bulldog, a nonprofit website.

Details about how and when Manafort is required to pay that settlement were not disclosed in the court paperwork, and his lawyer declined to provide that information.

The settlement would end a civil suit the Justice Department filed in April 2022 seeking to force Manafort to pay millions of dollars in fines and interest “for his willful failure to timely report his financial interest in foreign bank accounts.” The complaint alleged that Manafort failed to file in 2013 and 2014 a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (known as FBAR), as required by any U.S. citizen whose accounts abroad exceed $10,000.

According to the Justice Department, Manafort earned income from consulting work in Ukraine and deposited the money in several overseas accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom.

Some of those accounts listed Manafort as “an authorized signer or beneficial owner of the account,” according to the complaint. It also said many of the accounts were held in shell companies opened on Manafort’s behalf.

Manafort briefly managed Trump’s campaign in 2016 before he was ousted from that role amid questions about his consulting work in Ukraine, for which he earned millions.

He was convicted by a jury of using foreign accounts to hide the proceeds of his Ukrainian consulting, and he pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction. The Justice Department indicted him in 2017 as part of the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into the Trump campaign.

At one point, Manafort was sentenced to more than seven years in prison but was released early in 2020 as a result of health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump pardoned Manafort on Dec. 23, 2020, shortly before leaving office.

Though Trump had pardoned Manafort for financial crimes covering this period, the Justice Department complaint argued that he still owed the Treasury Department money, saying he violated laws requiring him to declare foreign bank accounts he controlled.

Neiman, Manafort’s lawyer, had previously downplayed the matter, describing his client’s actions as “simply failing to file a tax form,” claiming the lawsuit was filed “simply to embarrass Mr. Manafort.”

Manafort has worked for many presidents over the decades including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. After his standing in Republican circles faded, he made millions advising political candidates in other countries, particularly Ukraine.

In 2019, amid concerns that Trump might pardon his former adviser, the Manhattan district attorney’s office obtained a grand jury indictment against Manafort on fraud charges that echoed the federal case. A New York state judge threw out that case, saying it violated state laws against double jeopardy.