The Chicago bank that lent millions of dollars to Paul Manafort under its founder and former longtime chief executive has now sued the former Trump campaign chairman and his wife, seeking to foreclose upon his mansion in the Hamptons.
Manafort, an international political consultant and Republican Party operative, was pardoned by then-President Donald Trump on Dec. 23 after he’d been convicted in August 2018 of lying to tax authorities about tens of millions of dollars he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine and misleading banks about his financial health to get loans. He was serving a 7½-year prison term when he was released in May to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago sued Manafort and his wife, Kathleen, claiming they defaulted on a $9.5 million loan for their sprawling house in Water Mill, New York. After starting mortgage payments on Jan. 1, 2016, the couple hasn’t made any payments on the home at 174 Jobs Lane since Nov. 1, 2017, and, as of March 2, they still owe more than $9.27 million, according to the bank.
Federal prosecutors in 2019 charged Stephen Calk, the founder of the Federal Savings Bank, with bribery, alleging he pushed through $16 million in “high-risk” loans despite numerous red flags while seeking a post in the Trump administration. While Manafort wasn’t named in court papers in the case, the description of the high-ranking Trump administration official who received the loans matches him.
The loan to Manafort was rejected by Federal Savings Bank in October 2016, but after Trump was elected in November 2016, Calk prompted the bank to reverse course and approve it, prosecutors alleged.
Calk later sent a document ranking the administration positions he desired in return for the money — from secretary of the Treasury on down to 19 ambassadorships topped by the U.K. and France, according to the government. Calk has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer Dan Stein has said the loans made to Manafort were “good loans.”
After Manafort was pardoned, prosecutors relinquished claims against Manafort seeking the Hamptons home, a Brooklyn brownstone he owns and his Manhattan apartment that had been part of a preliminary forfeiture order.
Todd Blanche, a lawyer for Manafort, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the foreclosure.