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Prosecutors OK Manafort’s Gardens home, reject other assets in bail bid


The special counsel’s office is “comfortable” with Paul Manafort using his BallenIsles home to ensure his appearance in court on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a lobbyist but questioned the value of other assets and Manafort’s assurance he would not flee in rejecting a $12.5 million bail package proposed by Manafort’s legal team on Saturday.

Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, proposed using life insurance policies and three properties in an effort to free him from house arrest — one of the conditions of his release imposed after his arrest on Monday. Manafort is currently confined to his home in Virginia. He is seeking permission to travel between Virginia, New York and Florida, where he has homes.

Manafort and his wife Kathleen purchased the 5,231-square-foot home in BallenIsles in 2007 for $1.5 million after selling their home in Wellington for $1.55 million in 2004. There is a $50,000 homestead exemption on their BallenIsles home and no record of a mortgage in Palm Beach County court records.

Manafort also proposed putting up his condo in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, but special counsel disputes his claim that it’s worth $3 million.

The special counsel also agreed to allow Manafort to use another property in New York, valued at $3.5 million, provided the other owners of the property, Manafort’s wife and daughter Andrea, sign off.

The wording of the 10-page document filed Sunday afternoon that rejects Manafort’s bail proposal does not rule out Manafort using some of the properties as collateral. However, the special counsel would only allow him to do so if he reveals additional financial records - something Manafort may not want to do. The 17-count indictment accuses Manafort of using money he laundered through banks in Cyprus, the Grenadines and United Kingdom to buy property and subsidize a “lavish” lifestyle.

The special counsel has already identified several properties it intends to seize, claiming they were purchased with money from illegal activities. Manafort’s BallenIsles home is not among those properties. However, the special counsel would only allow Manafort to use the home for bail if he agrees to give up his homestead exemption. Florida law protects homesteaded properties from being seized.

Requiring Manafort to waive his homestead exemption would allow the government to seize the property if it is proven later that dirty money was used on the home.

A bail hearing is scheduled Monday for 9:30 am.



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