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Prosecutors question Paul Manafort's bank loan applications

By Ray Downs
Prosecutors question Paul Manafort's bank loan applications
President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives at federal court in Washington, D.C., on June 15. On Thursday, prosecutors questioned bank loan applications he filed during the eighth day of his bank fraud trial. File Photo Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Prosecutors scrutinized bank loan applications made by Paul Manafort on Thursday, Day 8 of the former Trump campaign chairman's bank fraud trial in Virginia.

The special counsel team questioned employees from two banks who said they would not have approved loans to Manafort if they knew he had inflated his income on the applications. Charges against Manafort include making false statements to banks.

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Gary Seferian, a vice president with the Banc of California, said Manafort applied for a $5 million loan in 2016 to help his son-in-law flip houses in Los Angeles, The Washington Post reported. Manafort's former business associate, Rick Gates, testified earlier that Manafort told him to fill out the loan application with incorrect information, including listing his $400,000 annual income as $6 million.

Seferian said Manafort was given a $1 million loan. When asked if he would have been approved if his application listed accurate income information, Seferian answered: "I don't think so."

RELATED Gates' extramarital affairs questioned in Manafort trial

Prosecutors also questioned Taryn Rodriguez, a loan officer assistant from Citizens Bank, to testify about a $5.5 million loan for construction on a Brooklyn property that Manafort was turned down for.

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Rodriguez said the loan was rejected after she found other loans against the same property, which wasn't included on the loan application Manafort submitted.

At one point in the exchange, Judge T.S. Ellis III appeared to mock the prosecution's tactics in questioning loans for which Manafort was denied.

RELATED Rick Gates testified he and Paul Manafort knowingly committed crimes

"You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted," Ellis told prosecutor Uzo Asonye, according to Politico.

"Your honor, this is a charged count in the indictment," Asonye said.

"I know that," Ellis replied.

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case Friday, when they bring in their final witness.

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