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The trial of Paul Manafort resumes Monday afternoon with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors expected to focus less on the lifestyle of the former Trump campaign chairman and more on the financial machinations underpinning the bank fraud and tax charges.

Speaking at Manafort's trial late that afternoon, Gates bluntly answered the prosecutor's questions.

Rick Gates has been regarded as a crucial witness for the government ever since he pleaded guilty this year to two felony charges and agreed to co-operate in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

"At Mr. Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, describing their relationship of two decades as limited to business. At some point this week, Manafort's former right-hand man, Rick Gates, is expected to take the witness stand.

"I added money to expense reports and created expense reports" that were not accurate, he said, to pad his salary by "several hundred thousand [dollars]".

The jury had heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans.

Gates also mentioned one of his recent employers, President Donald Trump, though he did not use his name.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Prosecutors say Manafort used those companies to stash millions of dollars from his Ukrainian consulting work, proceeds he omitted year-after-year from his income tax returns.

Prosecutor Greg Andres ticked off a number of overseas entities that Gates said he and Manafort controlled.

Gates also testified he and Manafort knew it was a crime because they had been notified by Manafort's accountants in emails.

Gates' testimony began on Monday and will likely continue into Tuesday, when Manafort's defense attorneys will cross-examine him.

Mr Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Mr Manafort do not address that. He said on Monday that, "at Mr. Manafort's request", he lied to Manafort's accountants about Manafort's control over certain foreign accounts. Gates will follow the testimony of tax preparer Cindy Laporta, who says she came to suspect Gates was misleading her about Manafort's finances.

During the questioning, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III will be both referee and wild card.

But Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Manafort, legal experts said. He noted that, as is common with cooperating witnesses, Gates testified to a wide array of crimes - including some that the government hadn't known about prior to his cooperation - and even minor violations, like showing up for parole 15 minutes lates. But while Laporta acknowledged that she regularly communicated with Gates she said she believed Manafort was in the know.

In a court filing on Monday, prosecutors said they may call Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountants Morgan Magionos and Renee Michael to read from Manafort's emails. Without smiling or pausing, he told the jury he had knowingly committed crimes "at Mr. Manafort's direction".


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