Richard Gates, a business associate of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is facing additional charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election, filed a 32-count indictment on Feb. 22 against Gates and Manafort.
Gates, 45, is accused of 11 counts related to filing false income tax returns and three counts of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts.
Manafort, 68, is charged with five counts related to filing false income tax returns and four of failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts.
Both men are accused of nine counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Prosecutors claim the men doctored documents to inflate the income of their businesses, then used those fraudulent documents to obtain loans. They also accuse Manafort of evading taxes from 2010 through 2014, and in some of those years concealing his foreign bank accounts.
The charges against Manafort and Gates don’t relate to any allegations of misconduct related to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The two men were initially charged in a 12-count indictment last October that accused them of a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy tied to their foreign lobbying work. They are accused of directing a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests.
Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to the initial charges.
Who is Rick Gates?
Gates is a protégée of Manafort, a June New York Times report said.
Gates, too, worked for the Trump campaign – and outlasted Manafort. Like Manafort, Gates helped wrangle delegates at the high-stakes 2016 Republican National Convention.
The onetime deputy campaign manager also helped start the nonprofit America First Policies (AFP), created to help advance the White House’s agenda. But Gates eventually left the group, reportedly due to his ties to Manafort.
However, the group recently received a request from the special counsel’s office to retain its records for possible production for that office, Fox News has learned.
Erin Montgomery, a spokesperson for AFP, distanced the nonprofit from Gates.
“We believe it is important to clarify that Rick Gates’ association with America First Policies was informal and limited, and, as noted in press reports, ended around March of this year,” Montgomery told Fox News.
But even after leaving the nonprofit, Gates still visited the White House multiple times, the Daily Beast reported in June. The publication added that Gates is disliked by Trump.
How is he connected to the Russia investigation?
During Manafort’s work with Ukraine, Gates would fly to Moscow to take meetings with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, The New York Times reported. And Gates’ name has appeared on documents linked to companies that Manafort’s firm has set up to receive payments in Eastern Europe, according to the newspaper.
“Everything was done legally and with the approval of our lawyers,” Gates has told The Times. “Nothing to my knowledge was ever done inappropriately.”
Gates was also involved in a 2011 Ukranian racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort.
Gates pleaded not guilty to the initial charges on Oct. 30.
“He welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court,” Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Gates, told Fox News.
“This fight is just beginning,” Selig added.
Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Brooke Singman, James Rosen, Jodie Curtis and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.