Stephen Calk, the founder of the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, a mortgage lender and a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, has been charged with bribing Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.
According to a report in The Washington Post citing the indictment, which was unsealed in the Southern District of New York, Calk approved $16 million in loans to Manafort in exchange for getting a job with the Trump administration. Calk ignored internal standards at the lender and lied to regulators in order to approve the loans. He also provided Manafort with a list of jobs he would like at the White House, including treasury secretary and ambassadorships in 19 locations. Calk was interviewed for the undersecretary of the Army, but didn’t get the job.
“Stephen M. Calk abused the power entrusted to him as the top official of a federally insured bank by approving millions of dollars in high-risk loans in an effort to secure a personal benefit,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
In the indictment, prosecutors contend that during an initial meeting with loan officers in New York, which Calk joined by video, he expressed interest in working on the Trump campaign.
The paper noted that while Manafort wasn’t named in the indictment, the borrower description matches him. The indictment shines a spotlight once again on Manafort’s financial situation when he was working for the Trump campaign. During his trial in 2018, prosecutors contended he was struggling to manage mountains of debt.
Manafort is currently serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for committing bank and tax fraud, as well as acting as an unregistered foreign agent. While Calk wasn’t called to testify, other banks officers did, saying the process in which his loans were approved was unusual.
Calk could face 30 years in prison if convicted of financial institution bribery, noted the news outlet.