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Former Trump aide sentenced to prison time

Florida residents likely know who Paul Manafort is and have heard of the case against him. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months in prison on charges of tax and bank fraud. The case was brought by Robert Mueller in connection with a probe into possible misconduct in the 2016 presidential election. In addition to the prison time, Manafort was also ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 as well as $24.8 million in restitution.

Sentencing guidelines in the case asked for Manafort to spend anywhere from 19 to 24 years in prison. Prosecutors claimed that he had acted in an illegal manner out of greed as opposed to any need to acquire money. They said that he had owned lavish items such as an ostrich jacket and a suit collection that was worth more than $1 million.

However, the judge in the case called the sentencing guidelines excessive. This was in spite of the fact that he acknowledged that Manafort had been convicted of serious crimes that were akin to theft from taxpayers. The judge said that precedent could not be ignored when handing down a sentence in this case. Ultimately, precedent suggested that roughly four years in prison was a reasonable sentence in a financial crimes case.

Individuals in Orlando, Florida who have been charged with a white collar crime are generally entitled to the help of legal counsel. Having such assistance may make it easier to obtain a favorable outcome in a case. This could result in a plea deal, an acquittal or a relatively short jail or prison sentence. An attorney may cast doubt on witness testimony or other evidence in an effort to place doubt in the minds of jurors who are hearing the case.

Source:NPR, "Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chairman, Sentenced To Just Under 4 Years", Miles Parks, 03/07/2019

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