POLITICS

Bank CEO Charged With Attempting To Trade Loans For Trump White House Job

Paul Manafort secured $16 million in loans from Stephen Calk, prosecutors say.

Federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a grand jury indictment on Thursday accusing former bank CEO Stephen Calk of helping Paul Manafort secure $16 million in loans in exchange for a senior position in the Trump administration.

According to prosecutors, Calk’s institution, The Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, “suffered a multi-million dollar loss” when Manafort, a former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, defaulted on the loans. 

Calk was never selected for an administration job. 

The banker “engaged in a corrupt scheme to exploit his position” between July 2016 and January 2017 in order to “secure a valuable personal benefit for himself,” the indictment stated. 

Calk interviewed for the role of Under Secretary of the Army at the Trump transition team’s New York offices in early January 2017, according to prosecutors. (A biography on the bank’s website once noted that Calk served in the Army.)

Facing one count of financial institution bribery, he surrendered to authorities in Manhattan on Thursday. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years behind bars.

Manafort allegedly needed the loans to avoid foreclosure on “multiple properties” and filed fraudulent information in order to obtain them, prosecutors say.

Calk’s dealings with Manafort were part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which began in 2017 and concluded earlier this year.

Manafort, a former lobbyist, reached a plea deal with Mueller’s team that led to him pleading guilty to two counts, one of conspiracy against the U.S. and another of conspiracy to obstruct justice. He was sentenced to about seven and a half years behind bars in March.

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