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Lobbyist reaches plea deal connected to Russian Federation and Ukraine work

Lobbyist reaches plea deal connected to Russian Federation and Ukraine work

An associate of Paul Manafort on Friday pleaded guilty to illegally acting as a foreign agent for a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party in the United States - and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, according to reports.

Patten will appear in federal court Friday morning before the same judge who is overseeing Manafort's second trial for similar charges of unregistered foreign lobbying.

Patten was charged by way of a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and that typically signals a guilty plea is planned.

Patten was listed as an executive and Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate in Ukraine, as a principal of Begemot Ventures International, a limited liability corporation formed in 2015, as first reported by the Daily Beast. As The Hill noted, Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud earlier this month and is now facing charges for failing to register as a foreign agent, and conspiring to launder money. Mr. Kilimnik was indicted in June on charges of obstruction of justice related to witness tampering in the foreign-lobbying case against Mr. Manafort.

The goal, prosecutors say, was to influence USA policy, but they say Patten never filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Prosecutors describe Foreigner A as a "Russian national" who partnered with Patten to create a political consulting company, "Company A", split 50-50.

Samuel Patten, a self-described worldwide political consultant, was accused of acting "as an agent of a foreign principal, to wit, the Opposition Bloc (a Ukrainian political party) and its members, without registering" as a foreign lobbyist, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, DC.

Even though Trump and his legal team have indicated that they would wait until after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation wraps up, the pardoning of Paul Manafort reportedly is, and will continue to be on the table. He also helped a foreign individual draft op-ed columns intended for the US news media, authorities say. Yet, to hide that Foreigner B was paying for the tickets, court papers say Patten had the American front the $50,000 for the tickets. The funds were allegedly paid via an offshore account in Cyprus from a "prominent Ukraine oligarch" who is an Opposition Bloc member.

Patten's work continued through Donald Trump's surprise election win.

Berman Jackson confirmed that he had signed every page of his plea agreement and charging documents with "a squiggle".

Patten then worked to find an American citizen to purchase the tickets for $50,000 in total, as a way to circumvent US law, which widely prohibits foreigners from contributing to political activities.

Patten, 47, reached a plea deal with the Justice Department.

Kilimnik left IRI around 2005 to work for Manafort in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, starting as the American consultant's translator and eventually being named manager of Manafort's Ukrainian office. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony charge.

The charge was brought by the USA attorney's office in the capital. A sentencing date has not been set.

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