Banker Accused of Arranging $16 Million in Loans to Manafort to Gain High-Level Trump Post

Spread the love

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

The chairman of a Chicago bank has been indicted in Manhattan on a charge that he issued millions of dollars in loans to President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in an effort to obtain a high-level position in the administration, federal authorities said on Thursday.

Prosecutors said the banker, Stephen M. Calk, the chairman of Federal Savings Bank, pushed the bank to give Mr. Manafort $16 million in loans in exchange for help in procuring an appointment.

Mr. Calk, 54, sought positions including secretary of the Treasury, according to the indictment unsealed in Federal District Court in Manhattan. He did not receive a post.

One person with knowledge of the matter said Mr. Calk surrendered to federal authorities on Thursday morning. He is expected to appear in United States District Court later Thursday.

Mr. Calk has been under investigation for well over a year in a case that was originally opened by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but then passed to the special counsel’s office during the Manafort inquiry, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

The case was later returned to Manhattan for prosecution, those people said.

The indictment charges Mr. Calk with one count of financial institution bribery.

If convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, although he would likely receive a lesser sentence.

Daniel L. Stein, a lawyer for Mr. Calk, did not immediately comment.

Mr. Manafort, 70, is serving a seven-and-half-year sentence at a minimum security prison near Scranton, Pa. He was convicted of 10 felonies, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, bank fraud and tax fraud in two cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

The indictment released on Thursday said Mr. Manafort provided Mr. Calk with “valuable personal benefits” during the period he was seeking loans.

Mr. Calk and the rest of his bank’s credit committee conditionally approved the first loan to Mr. Manafort in the summer of 2016, during the presidential campaign. Days later, Mr. Manafort appointed Mr. Calk to an economic advisory committee affiliated with the campaign.

Later in 2016, after Mr. Trump won the election, Mr. Manafort recommended to the presidential transition team that Mr. Calk be considered for an administration position, the indictment said. At the time, Mr. Manafort’s first loan had been issued and a second loan was pending approval by the bank.

Mr. Calk was ultimately given the opportunity to be formally interviewed for the position of under secretary of the Army at the transition team’s offices in New York, though he was not hired, the indictment said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.