It seems as though former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s ignorance of basic computer skills helped screwed him over in the Russia investigation.
Last October, Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a grand jury. However, on Thursday, special counsel Robert Mueller filed a second indictment against the two, including tax and bank fraud.
Among the many pieces of evidence for the indictment, it appears as though Manafort’s inability to turn a PDF into a Word doc resulted in him leaving an incriminating paper trail for Mueller and his team to find.
Y'all I'm dying, Manafort created an incriminating paper trail because he needed someone to help him convert a Word doc to PDF. pic.twitter.com/CTE4oV7zj0
— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) February 22, 2018
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According to the indictment, this all started because the two had to show a bank that their firm was still bringing in money. So the two falsified the profit and loss statements for 2015 saying that they earned $4 million more than what they actually did and $3.5 million more for 2016. Then Manafort sent the falsified file to a bank for a loan application.
Below is the relevant passage from the indictment:
MANAFORT and GATES made numerous false and fraudulent representations to secure the loans. For example, MANAFORT provided the bank with doctored P&Ls for DMI for both 2015 and 2016, overstating its income by millions of dollars. The doctored 2015 DMI P&L submitted to Lender D was the same false statement previously submitted to Lender C, which overstated DMI’s income by more than $4 million. The doctored 2016 DMI P&L was inflated by MANAFORT by more than $3.5 million. To create the false 2016 P&L, on or about October 21, 2016, MANAFORT emailed GATES a .pdf version of the real 2016 DMI P&L, which showed a loss of more than $600,000. GATES converted that .pdf into a “Word” document so that it could be edited, which GATES sent back to MANAFORT. MANAFORT altered that “Word” document by adding more than $3.5 million in income. He then sent this falsified P&L to GATES and asked that the “Word” document be converted back to a .pdf, which GATES did and returned to MANAFORT. MANAFORT then sent the falsified 2016 DMI P&L .pdf to Lender D.
So in other words, Manafort’s inability to convert the document into PDF left a very clear trail for investigators to later use.
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