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America, You Now Own Paul Manafort’s (Depreciating) Trump Tower Condo

The federal government has seized condo 43G — and it's worth quite a bit less now, thanks to the name on the building

by Rex Santus
May 31 2019, 3:06pm

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Paul Manafort traded in his $15,000 ostrich jacket for a prison jumpsuit and his “$6 million” Manhattan condo for a Western Pennsylvania prison cell.

While the jacket might actually be worth $15,000, it turns out the Trump Tower condo is worth a lot less than what Trump's former campaign manager told prosecutors. The federal government has seized Manafort’s place on Fifth Avenue, and it’s got a sticker price that’s closer to $4 million.

On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the Department of Justice’s request to seize Manafort’s condo, which he mortgaged for $3 million back in 2015 — when times were simpler and Manafort was much richer and getting away with financial crimes. Because of Manafort’s undoing by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the federal government now owns condo 43G in Trump Tower. Properties in Trump Tower have been depreciating in value, as wealthy Manhattanites no longer seem to be so keen on living in a tower named after the current president.

The government is selling off Manafort’s assets — including a loft in Soho and another house in the Hamptons — to pay off his debt to banks, court fines, and back taxes the former Trump campaign chair owes to the IRS. The government will pocket about $11 million from Manafort’s forfeitures.

Manafort, who earned tens of millions as a political consultant in Ukraine, is just one member of Trump’s inner circle who wound up in prison as a result of Mueller’s Russia probe. Manafort hid huge swaths of his wealth in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes. He pleaded guilty in September to a slew of bank and tax fraud charges. He faced up to two decades in prison but ultimately ended up getting less than four years.

Cover: Heavily armed police officers stand guard as a tourist poses for a photo outside Trump Tower, Thursday, May 16, 2019, in New York. President Donald Trump is attending a fund raiser in New York City Thursday and will spend the night at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)