Former Banker Found Guilty of Bribery Related to Paul Manafort Loans

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A federal jury in Manhattan found the former bank executive guilty on charges that he helped arrange loans in the amount of US $ 16 million to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for help getting high-level jobs in the Trump administration.

Stephen M. Kolk, founder and former chairman of the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, was convicted of two counts he faced: bribery of financial institutions and conspiracy to bribery of financial institutions. Federal prosecutors said Mr. Kolk pushed the bank to approve loans to Mr. Manafort despite numerous red flags because he hoped to be appointed minister of the army.

Mr Kolk’s lawyer, Paul Schumann, argued in court that Mr Kalk thought he was making lucrative loans, which were unanimously approved by the bank’s credit committee, and said Mr Kolk was acting in bad faith. Instead, Mr Schumann said, Mr Manafort and one of the bank’s loan officers robbed the bank that Mr Kolk had dedicated his life to building.

Mr. Schumann could not be reached for comment.

The three-week trial in federal court in Manhattan dealt with characters and issues familiar from other Trump presidency scandals, including Mr. Manafort’s dealings, the chaos of former President Donald Trump’s transition team, and the role of wealthy political neophytes in the administration. Witnesses at the trial included former White House PR director Anthony Scaramucci, two retired US Army generals, a Newsmax host, and current and former bank officials.



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