Manhattan Jury Convicts Chicago Banker of Bribery

A Trump associate was convicted in Manhattan after he enabled Paul Manafort to get $16 million in loans in exchange for an interview for a job with the Trump Administration. Stephen Calk was convicted of financial institution bribery and conspiracy. Calk insisted that he had broken no law nor done anything wrong.

Calk insisted that although he was given an interview for the job, he was not hired. Hence, there was no quid pro quo. However, Calk enabled Paul Manafort to get $16 million in loans related to his real estate ventures. This was money that would not have been offered to him had he used above-board channels. 


Some of the most damaging testimony was provided by a familiar Trump Administration name, Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci said that he would have never gotten Calk the interview had he known that Calk was helping Manafort get millions in loans. At one point, Scaramucci recommended Calk to Trump for consideration for an important position within the administration. Scaramucci was working as a member of Trump’s transition team during the early days of Trump’s victory. 

Calk had hoped to become Secretary of the Army but later amended his sights to other positions that were more accessible within the administration. 

Paul Manafort

Manafort got off the hook because Trump pardoned him prior to leaving office. Manafort could still face charges for which he was not pardoned, but as of yet, those have not surfaced. With Calk heading for prison, it is very likely that Manafort too would have been convicted for his role in the scheme. However, charging Manafort with a crime for which he was pardoned violates Double Jeopardy. Manafort was also convicted for tax fraud in 2019 as part of the Mueller investigation. The State had filed an appeal against the ruling dismissing the criminal case against Manafort, but the appellate court refused to hear the case. 

Manafort is also accused of other forms of fraud related to a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme that occurred in 2019. Manafort is accused of falsifying business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars. 

What About Donald Trump?

Thus far, Trump has faced no charges related to his administration or any individuals within his administration. Nonetheless, New York prosecutors are working overtime to investigate allegations of tax fraud. In Georgia, Trump is being investigated for his call with Georgia’s governor to help him find enough votes to beat Biden. Prosecutors in D.C. and NYC are looking for evidence that Trump unjustly enriched himself after his inauguration. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani is being investigated for violations of foreign lobbying laws. Trump still faces several domestic civil lawsuits as well. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are a former Trump Administration associate, then you probably need a criminal defense attorney. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to learn more about how we can help.

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