Rick Gates testified Tuesday that he faked loan and mortgage documents at the request of his former boss, Paul Manafort.
As income began drying up for Mr. Manafort, the onetime Trump campaign chairman, he sought to support his lavish lifestyle by obtaining fraudulent home loans, Mr. Gates told the courtroom.
Mr. Gates said he altered documents to help his former boss secure those loans, including changing the profit and loss statement for Mr. Manafort’s business and converting a PDF into a word document.
When asked why he did that, Mr. Gates said, “it was at the direction of Mr. Manafort.”
Mr. Manafort is on trial in Alexandria, Va., on charges of bank and tax fraud. Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team have introduced Mr. Gates as their star witness.
Mr. Gates testified that he told representatives with Citizens Bank there was no mortgage on a Brooklyn townhouse owned by Mr. Manafort.
But when the bank got insurance documents for the property it revealed there was a mortgage. Mr. Gates said he then submitted older insurance documents showing no mortgage on the property.
“Mr. Manafort asked me to submit the prior year’s policy,” Mr. Gates testified.