Washington, March 8 (IANS) Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was sentenced to 47 months in federal prison for tax and bank fraud on Thursday, much shorter than expected.
Prosecutors had recommended a sentence between 19.5 to 24 years behind bars, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a federal courtroom in Virginia on Thursday afternoon, an attorney from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said Manafort “failed to accept responsibility and is not remorseful.”
“The last two years have been the most difficult of my life,” Manafort said in court before US District Judge T.S. Ellis handed down the sentence. “To say I am humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”
Ellis noted that Manafort “is not before the court for anything having to do with colluding with the Russian government.”
The judge said though Manafort’s financial crimes were “very serious,” he found the sentencing guideline range for him was “not at all appropriate.”
In addition to the sentence, Ellis ordered Manafort to pay a $50,000 fine, the lowest fine provided for by guidelines that recommended a fine between $50,000 and $24 million.
The charges against Manafort stemmed from Mueller’s ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible ties with Trump’s campaign. Russia had repeatedly denied the allegation while Trump called the probe a “witch-hunt.”