President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 47 months in prison on Thursday for tax and bank fraud crimes.
Manafort was the first to be charged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
It is a far more lenient sentence than the 69-year-old was expected to receive; prosecutors had cited federal sentencing guidelines that called for 19 to 24 years in prison.
But District Judge TS Ellis said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create “an unwarranted disparity” with other cases. He sentenced Manafort to less than four years in prison and also ordered him to pay a fine of $50,000.
The veteran Republican political consultant was found guilty last August by a jury of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
During a lengthy sentencing hearing on Thursday night Manafort addressed the court for the first time to ask the judge for mercy.
He did not express remorse for his actions but talked about how the case has been difficult for him and his family.
Manafort, who opted not to testify during his trial, told the court that “to say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.” He described his life as “professionally and financially in shambles.“