Manafort's New York City transactions follow a pattern: Using shell companies, he purchased the homes in all-cash deals, then transferred the properties into his own name for no money and then took out hefty mortgages against them, according to property records.

The purchases came around the time Manafort signed a contract with Kremlin-aligned Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, which AP-acquired documents say involved lobbying to help Russia but Manafort says was merely on Deripaska's behalf.

The Manafort stuff is an almost bottomless-pit of sleaze; see also:

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