Stephen Calk, the previous chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank first indicted in 2019, is on trial for prices of monetary establishment bribery and conspiracy to commit monetary establishment bribery.
Calk allegedly awarded Manafort $16 million in corrupt loans utilizing The Federal Savings Bank as his “personal piggy bank,” federal prosecutor Alexandra Rothman alleged in her opening assertion Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege Calk used his place on the financial institution to push via dangerous loans for Manafort in 2016 and 2017 whereas conspiring with Manafort to get him a high-ranking spot within the administration.
Days after Calk’s financial institution accepted the primary mortgage, Manafort appointed Calk to the Economic Advisory Council for Trump’s marketing campaign, an unpaid function that put Calk within the highlight giving media interviews as a surrogate for the marketing campaign.
Prosecutors pointed to textual content messages Calk despatched to Manafort on election night time in 2016 informing him that his financial institution may subject a second mortgage regardless of what they are saying have been “red flags” in Manafort’s monetary place.
Calk then had an interview Manafort secured for him at Trump Tower in New York for a place as underneath secretary of the Army.
Former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci is anticipated to testify Thursday that Manafort requested him to get Calk an interview for the place and that he complied with the request regardless of believing that Calk was not certified, prosecutors say.
Calk was in the end by no means supplied nor accepted any positions throughout the administration and the financial institution incurred a multimillion-dollar loss when Manafort defaulted on the loans, in accordance to the indictment.
Defense counsel argued Wednesday that Calk did not know he was doing something unsuitable in giving Manafort $16 million in loans, saying it was Manafort who dedicated fraud by mendacity about his wealth to get the loans accepted.
“This is not a sweetheart deal,” mentioned Calk’s legal professional Paul Schoeman.
Schoeman acknowledged that Calk “absolutely” had sought recommendation and assist from Manafort to get a authorities place as a result of he “really loves the military” as a former member of the Army Reserve and needed to serve the nation.
But the one function Calk acquired was the unpaid place with the Trump marketing campaign, Schoeman mentioned.
“This case is not about partisan politics. The name Donald Trump is going to come up during this trial. Some people like him, some people don’t, but don’t let that influence you in this case,” Schoeman advised jurors.
The alleged “quid pro quo” between Calk and Manafort got here up in 2018 at Manafort’s trial in Virginia.
Manafort was discovered responsible on eight counts of monetary fraud, however jurors deadlocked on the 4 counts of financial institution fraud and conspiracy associated to the fraudulent loans he had obtained from Calk’s financial institution. Months later, Manafort pleaded responsible in a separate federal case in Washington, DC, and admitted to all of the conduct alleged within the Virginia trial, together with conspiring with Calk to commit financial institution fraud.
A jury was sworn in Wednesday after a variety course of that started Tuesday.
Jurors will proceed to hear testimony Thursday morning in cross-examination of the federal government’s first witness, performing Comptroller of the Currency Blake Paulson, together with a former Federal Savings Bank worker and Kory Langhofer, who was a member of the Trump transition crew.
NCS’s Kara Scannell and Erica Orden contributed to this report.