Today, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was charged in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The indictment against Manafort details a complex scheme, which includes real estate ventures in New York.
Allegedly used “beneficial tax consequences” of the rental
According to the indictment, one property was purchased by Manafort for more than $2.8 million, with money from entities based in Cyprus. The indictment claims Manafort used a Howard Street property “from at least January 2015 through 2016 as an income-generating rental property, charging thousands of dollars a week on Airbnb, among other places.” Manafort allegedly used the “beneficial tax consequences” of owning the rental on his tax returns. Later, according to the indictment, Manafort misrepresented the rental status of the condo to get a better deal on a bank loan.
The indictment specifies one property subject to forfeiture as 29 Howard Street. A search of New York property records confirms what appears to be the property in question. The Manafort corporation held a condominium in unit four at 29 Howard Street. (Also listed on the forms is the address 27 Howard Street.)
If the property was once available to rent on Airbnb, it’s no longer visible on the service. But the property has been listed on other services offering real estate for rent. The Corcoran Real Estate Group, for one, appears to have the property listed, describing it as a 2,500-square-foot condo available for $14,200 per month. (The agent named on the listing said she was unaware of the condo’s connection to Manafort.)
The photos show a high-ceilinged space with red leather couches and a cozy fireplace, as well as a spacious kitchen and prominent windows:
The Manafort family’s use of Airbnb for rentals has not gone completely unnoticed before. Last year, it was reported that Manafort’s daughter was being sued by a landlord after allegedly renting out Manhattan apartments in the same neighborhood illegally for more than $30,000 per month.
Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the property. The rental may have run afoul of Airbnb’s rules for listing properties, although today that may be very low on Manafort’s list of concerns.