Lobbyist charged with failing to register as foreign agent in Manafort-linked case

WASHINGTON — A longtime Washington operative has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent in connection with his work for a Ukrainian lobbying effort launched by Paul Manafort.

W. Samuel Patten, 47, was named Friday in a criminal charging document, and pleaded guilty in federal court Friday morning in Washington. As part of the plea agreement, Patten could face a maximum of five years incarceration and up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The charges were brought not by special counsel Robert Mueller, but by the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Washington.

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Sam Patten, former associate of Paul Manafort
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Sam Patten, former associate of Paul Manafort
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten, a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten (L), a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten, a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten (L), a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten (L), a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten (L), a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Sam Patten (L), a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. Patten pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Nonetheless, Patten appears to have figured in a Ukrainian lobbying operation first launched by Manafort, according to court documents and previous news accounts. Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, was convicted last week in a Virginia federal court on eight counts of bank and tax fraud brought by the Mueller team.

The charging document says Patten lobbied for a Ukrainian party called the Opposition Bloc, which was launched by Manafort in 2014 after his longtime client, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, fled to Russia.

According to his web site, Patten headed the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute (IRI), where he "provided technical assistance to a range of political parties and nongovernmental organizations."

In that job, according to published reports, he supervised Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate who has been linked by Mueller's office to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik, who has been indicted along with Manafort on witness tampering charges, remains at large and is believed to be in Russia.

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Paul Manafort's trial for bank and tax fraud charges
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Paul Manafort's trial for bank and tax fraud charges
After a guilty verdict on the first count, an unidentified man holds a sign outside the U.S. District Courthouse for the fourth day of jury deliberations in former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The 2012-issued passport of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, included in the government's exhibits admitted into evidence during Manafort's trial, is shown in this image released from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office in Washington, DC, U.S. on August 1, 2018. Image released August 1, 2018. Courtesy Special Counsel's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: An activist holds a picture of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort during a protest outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse prior to the first day of the trial of Manafort July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Jackets included in the government's exhibits admitted into evidence, at the trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, are seen in this combination image of pictures released from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office in Washington, DC, U.S. on August 1, 2018. Courtesy Special Counsel� Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. UNPROCESSED VERSIONS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: Activists hold signs during a protest outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse prior to the first day of the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 02: Kathleen Manafort (L), wife of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, arrives at the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse August 2, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has been charged with bank and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Defense Attorney Kevin Downing arrives at U.S. District Court for the opening day of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Protesters gather outside the US District Courthouse ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Defense Attorney Kevin Downing arrives at U.S. District Court for the opening day of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Heather Washkuhn, manager of Paul Manafort's personal and business finances, left, walks toward District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. Washkuhn told the jury that she had no knowledge of the offshore companies and bank accounts that prosecutors say helped former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort hide tens of millions in income from the U.S. government. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Defense Attorney Kevin Downing arrives at U.S. District Court for the opening day of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
The U.S. District Courthouse is seen ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: Members of Manafort's legal team Jay Nanavati, (C), and Richard Westling, (R), wait to enter the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse to attend the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who was arrested last year on financial fraud charges, on July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The U.S. District Courthouse is seen ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Protesters gather outside the U.S. District Courthouse ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES JULY 31: Media set up microphones in front of the United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia where President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort stands trial July 31, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES JULY 31: A protester is seen outside of the United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia where President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort stands trial July 31, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: An activist wears an 'It's Mueller Time' T-shirt as she hits a drum during a protest outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse prior to the first day of the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES JULY 31: A protester is seen outside of the United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia where President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort stands trial July 31, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: An activist holds a puppet of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse prior to the first day of the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: People wait in-line to enter the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse to hear the first day of the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Jay Nanavati, co-counsel for former Trump Campaign Manger Paul Manafort, left, and Richard Westling, co-counsel for former Trump Campaign Manger Paul Manafort, right, wait to enter District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The 18-count Alexandria indictment includes five charges of filing false tax returns, five for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, four bank fraud counts and four counts of failing to file reports of his foreign bank and financial accounts with the U.S. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: Anti Trump and Manafort protesters gather in front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse where the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort starts today, on July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was arrested last year on financial fraud charges. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: A protester stands in front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse where the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort starts today, on July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort was arrested last year on financial fraud charges. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Paul Manafort's lawyer Thomas Zehnle (C) is surrounded by media as he arrives at the Albert V. Bryan US Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia on July 31, 20187, for the opening of the jury selection for the Paul Manafort trial. - Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort on July 31, 2018 becomes the first member of the president's election team to face trial on charges stemming from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 vote. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud related to his lobbying activities on behalf of the former Russian-backed government of Ukraine. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JULY 31: People wait in line to enter the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse to attend the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was arrested last year on financial fraud charges, on July 31, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Kathleen Manafort departs from U.S. District Court following the opening day of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Defense Attorney Kevin Downing departs from U.S. District Court following the opening day of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller?s investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 02: Heather Washkuhn, managing director of the accounting firm Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno, arrives at the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse to testify in the Paul Manafort trial August 2, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has been charged with bank and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 02: Jay Nanavati, attorney of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, arrives at the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse August 2, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has been charged with bank and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 02: Kevin Downing, attorney of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse August 2, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has been charged with bank and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 01: The statue of Justice outside the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse is reflected in a television news camera lens on the second day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial August 1, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has been charged with bank and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Accountant Cindy Laporta arrives to testify on day 5 of the trial against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on 18 charges stemming from bank and tax fraud at US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 6, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Prosecutors say Patten violated the law requiring foreign lobbyists to register because he accepted money to advocate on behalf of a foreign political party and then helped set up meetings between foreigners and Congressional staff. Payments were allegedly made by a Ukrainian oligarch to Patten's company through an offshore Cyprus bank account.

He also drafted op-ed articles for his Ukrainian clients and had them placed in U.S. media, the court documents say.

Prosecutors say Patten placed an op-ed written by his Ukrainian clients in a national U.S. publication in February 2017.

On Feb. 6, 2017, the web site U.S. News published an article by Serhiy Lyovochkin, the former chief of staff to Yanukovych, who hired Manafort to rebrand the pro-Russia Party of Regions in 2014.

The article was headlined, "Ukraine Can Win in the Trump Age."

Manafort faces trial next month in Washington on charges that also include violating foreign lobbying registration laws. He is accused of running an operation that employed consultants to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the U.S.

The court documents do not directly link Patten with Manafort. Testimony in Manafort's Virginia trial made clear that he was running the operation and had authority over its various consultants.

 

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