Defense lawyers have painted Gates as an untrustworthy business partner who embezzled funds from Manafort's consulting firm. She testified Friday about how she seemed to suspect Manafort and Gates were falsifying documents in order to inflate Manafort's worth, so he could qualify for loans.
Manafort is on trial for bank and tax fraud and federal prosecutors outlined his purchases on Wednesday to build a case about Manafort's income. It's the first courtroom test of the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is tasked with looking into Russia's efforts to interfere with the USA election and whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Moscow to sway voters.
Asked why she engaged in misconduct, Laporta said she had few good choices. She said, "I very much regret it".
Manafort has been charged with tax evasion and filing false loan documents. And if Manafort was actively trying to circumvent lending laws, he wouldn't send emails to his accountant and bookkeeper about it.
When prosecutor Greg Andres read off some of the offshore companies to Manafort's bookkeeper, she said Manafort never told her about them.
Federal Savings Bank ultimately loaned to DMP when its executive Stephen Calk sought a Trump campaign position. She added that she then went along with Gates' decision to create a fraudulent letter, backdated eight months before their conversation, indicating that the loan amount had been forgiven. Mr. Gates said he would "chase down signatures", an indication that the letter was fake. Asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye if she believed it was forgiven, she said: "Uh, no". "He is fighting back", she said.
It is clear to me he is very anxious about it and he wants to prevent it any way he can.
Laporta's testimony took up most of the day on Friday as prosecutors used her to walk through several other documents they claim illustrate additional instances of tax and bank fraud from Manafort and Gates.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said after Mr Trump's tweet: "It is clear to me he is very anxious about it and he wants to prevent it any way he can". If Manafort is acquitted, they will indeed say that it doesn't prove much of anything about the broader Russian Federation investigation, because the investigation goes far beyond Manfort. Washkuhn said her bookkeeping system wouldn't let her do that. She testified that Mr. Manafort had emailed her about the fraudulent loan.
The proceedings ended before Manafort attorney Kevin Downing could cross-examine her.
Gates is expected to testify later in the case.
The Government has provided trial evidence of Mr Manafort controlling a web of overseas accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said negotiations are continuing to have Trump sit down for questions from Mueller, though the lawyer said, "I'm not going to give you a lot of hope that it's going to happen". But attempts to verify the loan's terms were futile. Maxwell testified that some of the Manafort invoices shown to him from prosecutors appeared to be have been forged.
Amid the headline-grabbing details about Manafort's extravagant spending ― the $15,000 ostrich jacket, the thousands of dollars worth of suits, the red flowers in the shape of an "M" ― prosecutors' narrative about Manafort's shady financial dealings is going to be hard to refute.
Earlier on Friday prosecutors asked Ayliff about Manafort's accounting of a $1.5 million transfer in 2012 from Peranova Holdings Ltd as a loan, even as records showed that no interest or principal was paid on it in subsequent years.
Washkuhn also detailed how after Manafort's political consulting money from Ukraine stopped rolling in, around 2015, he and his company began piling up debt and financial woes.
Prosecutors plan to use Gates to explain what Manafort knew and what he instructed others to do over years of the alleged fraud.