Feds: Chicago bank linked to former Trump aide loan scheme

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Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago loaned his ex-campaign chairman $16 million. (WLS)

A local bank is being called out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after making $16 million in personal real estate loans to President Trump's former campaign chairman.

Ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort, facing criminal charges filed by prosecutors in the Russia investigation, accepted the loans from The Federal Savings Bank. The bank's chairman, Stephen Calk, served on the campaign's economic advisory panel. Federal Savings is headquartered in Chicago's Fulton Market District at 300 N. Elizabeth St.

U.S. investigators now say that Manafort used "doctored profit and loss statements" to secure loans from The Federal Savings Bank. According to newly filed court documents, the former top Trump operative secured loans "through a series of false and fraudulent representations." Authorities say he overstated his company's income "by millions of dollars" to obtain one mortgage of $9.5 million and another for $6.5 million.

Neither Calk nor his bank public relations team in Chicago responded to requests for interviews on Wednesday.

Manafort's relationship with Calk, hinted for more than a year in news reports, is detailed in the government filing. Prosecutors have fired back at Manafort's claims that three of his homes are free-and-clear of mortgages-and be allowed as collateral for the $10 million bond that has landed the political consultant under home confinement.

"The Fairfax (VA) property is claimed by Manafort to have no mortgage. In fact, it was posted to secure a mortgage of over $9 million from The Federal Savings Bank, which was secured by both the Fairfax property and the Bridgehampton (NY) property" prosecutors have stated.

Although Special Counsel Mueller has yet to expand on Manafort's ties to the Chicago bank or offer details of Calk's possible role in the matter, prosecutors say they have learned of "additional criminal conduct" by Manafort, including "a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies."

On Wednesday a new, one-page document was filed in Washington under court seal by prosecutors in the case against Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates. The federal court record offers no details such as who it's against or whether it's part of a defendant's plea deal with the government.

Calk served on an economic advisory panel during the presidential campaign of Donald Trump-at the time Paul Manafort was campaign chairman. Manafort was pushed out in August, 2016.

Shortly after Mr. Trump was elected president, The Federal Savings Bank loaned Manafort $16 million in two separate mortgage deals.

No federal charges files thus far against Manafort have been related to his time working on the Trump campaign. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he laundered millions of dollars through overseas shell companies - using the money to buy real estate, fancy clothing, luxury cars and antique rugs.
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