Chicago banker convicted of working under Trump loan scheme


NEW YORK (AP) – A Manhattan jury on Tuesday found the Chicago banker guilty of felony for allowing Paul Manafort to get $ 16 million in loans before ex-President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager helped him get interviewed for work in Trump. administration.

A jury returned its verdict in federal court after less than two hours of deliberation, convicting Stephen Colk of bribery and collusion by financial institutions. Kalk’s lawyers argued that their client did not do anything illegal in the weeks following Trump’s victory in the November 2016 presidential election.

But prosecutors said Kalk cleared the way for Manafort to get loans he was not eligible for, in the hope that Kalk could gain a high position in the Trump administration. Although Kalk was eventually interviewed at Trump Tower, he was not recruited.

The verdict was set for January 10 for Kolk, a former executive director of the Federal Savings Bank.

Leaving the courthouse, Kalk declined to comment. His lawyer Paul Schumann later issued a statement: “We are very disappointed with the verdict and will use all available remedies, including appeal.”

In a report, US Attorney Audrey Strauss said Kalk used his federally insured bank to try to buy himself “prestige and power.”

During the three-week trial, the attorney’s office provided the jury with evidence that Kolk played a key role in securing a $ 9.5 million loan and an additional $ 6.5 million for a $ 9.5 million real estate loan so Manafort could complete his Brooklyn condominium and avoid loss. foreclosure rights.

Defense lawyers argued that Calk could not get loans approved without the consent of the bank’s credit committee and underwriters on the terms. And they noted that the loans were obtained at a time when Manafort was considered rich and successful and had not yet been prosecuted.

At the start of the trial, Anthony Scaramucci testified that he would never have allowed Calc to be interviewed for an administrative position if he knew Calc was helping Manafort get millions of dollars in loans for his real estate businesses.

Scaramucci testified that Manafort, who had been Trump’s campaign manager for a key period from June to early August 2016, reached out to him in mid-to-late December 2016 to encourage him to consider Colca for an important position.

At the time, Scaramucci was part of the Trump transitional team.

According to Scaramucci, although Kalk hoped to become minister of the army, he ended up interviewing for other positions because the post was already filled.

Manafort lost his position in Trump’s campaign due to his ties to Ukraine. An investigation by Special Adviser Robert Mueller in Russia led to him being prosecuted and sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his political consultancy in Ukraine. Trump pardoned him in December.

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