After their work was disclosed in news reports in August 2016, when Mr. Manafort was still working for the Trump campaign, he and Mr. Gates “developed a false and misleading cover story” to distance themselves from Ukraine, according to federal prosecutors.
The reports prompted the Justice Department to ask the men if they had ever worked as agents of a foreign power. They repeatedly said no, lying to federal agents, according to the indictment.
No word of collusion, for now
Conspicuously absent from the charging documents against Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates: any mention of campaign-related interaction between the two men and Russia or between the Trump campaign and Russia. American spy agencies have concluded that Russia acted to help Mr. Trump’s candidacy during the election, and part of Mr. Mueller’s task is to investigate whether the campaign coordinated with them.
However, in a separate case on Monday, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about a contact with a professor with ties to Kremlin officials. The plea represents the most explicit evidence connecting the Trump campaign to the Russian election efforts.
A lavish spender
Mr. Manafort in particular appears not to have been shy about using the money, wiring payments for clothing, cars, real estate and other luxury items directly from the foreign accounts to vendors, prosecutors wrote.
Between 2008 and 2014, Mr. Manafort spent $849,215 at a men’s clothing store in New York and between 2008 and 2012, an additional $520,440 at a clothing store in Beverly Hills. He spent $934,350 at an antique rugs store in Alexandria, Va., where Mr. Manafort owns a home, between 2008 and 2010.
In 2012 alone, Mr. Manafort spent about $225,000 on three Range Rovers and a Mercedes-Benz.
And between 2008 and 2014, he poured money into a home in the Hamptons. Documents show Mr. Manafort paid a home improvement company on the Long Island enclave $5.4 million during that time and paid two landscaping firms $800,000.
No transaction was too small for prosecutors
Mr. Mueller’s team appears to have carefully examined Mr. Manafort’s financial transactions — and no dealing was too small.
In one case, in 2012, they found Mr. Manafort, through an LLC, paid $3 million in cash for a Brooklyn brownstone. Mr. Manafort then took out a $5 million loan for construction to convert the property into a single-family home. Instead of using the loan only for construction, though, documents show Mr. Manafort used the funds to pay off the mortgage on another apartment and make a down payment on another property in California.