Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison

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Before the sentence was handed down, Manafort asked the judge for compassion.

The charges against Manafort were not connected to his role in the Trump campaign, which he headed for two months in 2016, but were related to lucrative consulting work he did for Ukrainian politicians from 2004 to 2014. In addition to his almost four years in prison, Manafort has been ordered to pay at least $6 million in restitution to the government.

Prosecutors say Manafort failed to pay more than $6m (£4.6m) in taxes, as he funded his opulent lifestyle, including a $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket and a luxury renovation of his Hamptons mansion.

Manafort will face sentencing next week on separate counts of witness tampering and conspiracy. The case revolved around Manafort's overseas work for oligarchs backing pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine and his efforts to keep that money from the US government.

In his remarks, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said sentencing guidelines which would have allowed a sentence of up to 20 years were excessive and would have created "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases. Manafort replied, "I am your honor".

Mueller's office took no position on how much time Manafort should serve, but noted that the sentencing guidelines called for between 19 and 24 years and said the sentence should "take into account the gravity" of Manafort's conduct and deter both him and "those who would commit a similar series of crimes".

Early on in Manafort's Virginia bank and tax fraud trial, Judge Ellis' colorful, and at times inappropriate comments from the bench, grabbed headlines. The special counsel's office revealed last month that Manafort broke a plea deal by lying to investigators, meaning the possibility of a light sentence was thrown off the table.

The government says Manafort's misconduct involved more than $16 million in unreported income, more than $55 million hidden in foreign bank accounts and more than $25 million secured through lies to banks.

Manafort contends he is mere collateral damage in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort was convicted after prosecutors accused him of hiding from the US government millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government.

Mr Trump's campaign co-chair Rick Gates, who was a business partner of Manafort and testified against him in court, is also awaiting sentence.

In the special counsel's sentencing memorandum filed last month in Virginia, Mueller's team characterized Manafort as someone who sought ways to cheat the system, repeatedly and brazenly violated the law.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in the Washington case next week.

"I know it is my conduct that brought me here", he said, per CNNN.

"Here, a court has already found Manafort lied to the government and the grand jury", Mueller said.

The charges involved Mr Manafort's work for 10 years on behalf of Moscow-allied politicians in Ukraine, and nothing related to the 2016 election - an issue he argued in asking the court for lenience. "His criminal actions were bold, some of which were committed while under a spotlight due to his work as the campaign chairman and, later, while he was on bail from this court".