RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — One of the two men indicted Monday in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election owns a home in Richmond.
Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, were both served federal indictments including conspiracy against the United States, money laundering and working as unregistered foreign agents. The two surrendered to federal authorities Monday and were expected in court later in the day to face charges brought by Mueller’s team.
8News has learned Rick Gates owns a home on Virginia Avenue. The $2.1 million home was purchased in Dec. of 2007. Property records show the home was part of a land transfer on Dec. 14, 2007, but the sale is listed as invalid.
The indictment released Monday shows Gates used money from the Ukranian government funneled through off-shore accounts to pay his mortgage, his children’s tuition as well as to decorate the inside of the home.
A vehicle pulled into the house’s driveway Monday night which 8News believes may have been Gates, returning from court.
Neighbors who live near Gates’ Virginia Avenue home declined to go on camera but told 8News they enjoyed getting to know Gates, his wife, Sarah Brooks, and their four children. Another neighbor added that Gates coached her son’s soccer team.
The indictment accuses Manafort and Gates of orchestrating a nearly decade-long conspiracy to covertly work for Ukrainian interests and launder millions of dollars through offshore accounts. Specifically, the indictment accuses Manafort of using “his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.” That included using offshore accounts to purchase multimillion-dollar properties in the U.S., some of which the government is seeking to seize.
As of two weeks ago, Gates was still working for Tom Barrack, a Trump confidant, helping with the closeout of the inauguration committee’s campaign account.
8News has also learned that Gates’ professional relationship dates back more than 20 years.
The company Gates Group International, a management and information technology firm based in Prince George, Va., lists 45-year-old Richard Gates III as the chairman of the advisory board.
The company website states his father, Richard Gates Jr., is the CEO and is a retired decorated Army Lt. Colonel.
Rick Gates’ biography also says he’s a 1994 graduate of the College of William and Mary where he studied government. He also received a Master’s Degree in public policy from George Washington University.
Gates Group International says Gates worked as a director from 1995-97 for Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly — a firm specializing in government and public relations. The website also includes that Gates founded Richmond-based firm Capital Strategies in 2003.
According to a press release from a Denver-based company ID Watchdog, Gates joined the board of directors for the consumer protection company in 2011 but resigned from the board on November 9, 2016 — one day after the presidential election.
The federal indictment released Monday refers to Gates as Paul Manafort’s ‘right-hand man,’ working for Manafort’s companies Davis Manafort Partners Inc. and DMP International.
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