Manafort pleads not guilty to fraud charges

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, tax and bank fraud charges in an Alexandria, Virginia, federal court Thursday afternoon.

The judge tentatively scheduled the trial for July 10.

The mystery man sported a full white beard, black beanie hat and sunglasses as he extended his hands upward while Manafort arrived at the Albert V. Bryan Courthouse in Virginia.

Manafort entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, through his attorney Kevin Downing. At the request of prosecutors, charges have been dropped against Gates in Virginia, though they could be resurrected should he fail to live up to his plea agreement.

Mr. Mueller alleges Mr. Manafort shielded from the IRS millions of dollars he earned as a consultant and lobbyist for the Ukrainian government.

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In Washington, Manafort faces counts of conspiracy to launder more than $30 million, making false statements, failing to follow lobbying disclosure laws and working as an unregistered foreign agent.

Citing Manafort's significant wealth, Ellis said the former campaign chairman "manifestly" represented a flight risk in part because of "the substantial period of incarceration" he faced if convicted.

Among those indicted are 13 Russians accused of engaging in a multiyear effort to tilt the election in Trump's favor using social media platforms, secret operatives and political rallies in the U.S.

Manafort's longtime business partner, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to a dramatically-reduced set of charges in federal court late last month in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller's probe.

For the Virginia case, Manafort will be fitted with a second electronic monitoring bracelet (he is already wearing one related to the D.C. case) and will be allowed to meet with lawyers, attend church services and make emergency medical trips as needed. He faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if found guilty on all charges in Virginia.