NEW YORK (Reuters) – The former head of a Chicago bank will face trial Tuesday on charges that he gave millions of dollars in risky loans to former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to secure the top post in the former president’s administration. …
Stephen Kolk, the former chairman and chief executive officer of the Federal Savings Bank, pleaded not guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges by financial institutions for helping Manafort with $ 16 million in loans that later defaulted.
Prosecutors said that after Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Kolk sent Manafort a ranked list of 10 positions he wanted, including Treasury Secretary, Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Defense, as well as a separate list of 19 ambassadors.
Manafort allegedly recommended to Trump’s transitional team after the election that Kolk, a 16-year-old army veteran, be appointed secretary of the army, the highest civilian service position.
In January 2017, Kalk was interviewed for the position of deputy minister of the army, but never joined the administration.
US District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan will oversee Kolk’s trial.
The defendant was first charged in May 2019 and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of bribery.
Kolk’s alleged propaganda activities were discussed at the 2018 Manafort trial in Virginia, including accusations that Manafort made false statements to private federal savings in order to obtain his loans.
The case was initiated by former Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
Manafort was convicted of tax evasion and banking fraud and sentenced to 7-1 / 2 years in prison, but was later released into custody. Then in December, Trump pardoned Manafort.
At the Manafort trial, an employee of the Federal Savings Bank testified that Kalk showed a “personal interest” in Manafort’s loans and that he had never seen such loans approved so quickly.
US v. Kolk, US District Court, Southern District of New York, no. 19-cr-00366.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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