Crimes Against Fashion
Prosecutors zipped through eight (8!) freakin’ witnesses Wednesday — all people who sold Manafort luxury fashion and whatnot.
The witness Maximillian Katzman — the ex-manager and son of the owner of Alan Couture in New York testified that Manafort ran up bills of over $900,000 between 2010 and 2014 at Alan Couture, putting him among the store’s top five customers. That is true dedication to fashion!
Manafort never paid by check or credit card but instead by wiring in money from his foreign accounts, in the name of his foreign businesses. All witnesses said that payment for the bills Manafort ran up came from obscure companies in off-shore banking havens like Cyprus or the Grenadines.
“This is the only client that paid us in international wire transfers,” Katzman said.
Prosecutor Greg Andres submitted an invoice from “Alan Corture LLC.”
Katzman said it was fake! “It’s off by a letter,” he said. “The zip code is incorrect.”
So here’s why the Wardrobe is important: Manafort (might have?) forged the bill to trick his bookkeeper into thinking it was a business-to-business transaction, and not personal expense like a tacky ostrich-skin jacket. And that’s how money laundering is done!
Manafort’s defense attorney suggested that Rick Gates forged the invoice for some unknown, nefarious reason, though nothing comes to mind. Gates didn’t even get a tacky jacket to show for it, which makes him the worst sort of unfashionable super villain!
And that’s where things stand today!