Bank CEO sought to meet Trump while seeking employment, prosecutors say


New details have emerged about a bank CEO’s efforts to land a high-level job in the Trump administration in an alleged bribery scheme involving Paul Manafort.

Stephen Calk, former CEO of the Federal Savings Bank, unsuccessfully requested a meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump in December 2016 as he sought the post of secretary of the military, the officials said. prosecutors in a new court case.

Federal prosecutors also alleged a closer connection than previously described between Trump’s surprise election victory over Hillary Clinton and the Chicago-based bank’s decision to grant Manafort credit.

As Chicago’s Federal Savings Bank was considering a mortgage for Campaign President Trump, Paul Manafort (left) in 2016, then CEO Steve Calk asked a loan officer to ask Manafort if Calk was in consideration for senior positions, prosecutors said. The loan officer did not fulfill the request, but less than a week later, Calk and Manafort spoke on the phone for 18 minutes, according to a court file.

Calk is set to stand trial on June 22 in two mortgages totaling $ 16 million that Federal Savings granted to Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chair when he first ran for president. Calk has pleaded not guilty.

The former CEO is accused of giving the green light to loans to Manafort in exchange for helping land a senior position in the Trump administration. federal prosecutors in New York, who brought the criminal case in 2019, filed a substitute indictment on Thursday.

He says less than three weeks before election day, Calk and another bank executive decided to reject a multimillion dollar loan plan to Manafort. But almost immediately after Trump’s victory, Calk reportedly reversed course and prompted the bank to approve the loan.

While the bank’s review of the loan was still pending, Calk asked a bank loan officer to call Manafort and ask if the CEO of the bank was considering a position as Secretary of the Treasury or other senior administrative positions, according to prosecutors.

The loan officer did not fulfill the request, but less than a week later Calk and Manafort spoke on the phone for 18 minutes, according to the court document, which contains no information on what was discussed.

After Calk emailed Manafort the following month about a possible meeting with Trump, the political agent told him the president-elect was not attending such meetings while traveling, according to the reports. prosecutors.

Manafort and representatives of the bank signed the final loan documents on January 4, 2017, and about a week later, Calk interviewed members of the presidential transition team for the post of undersecretary of the military, according to prosecutors. In the end, Calk didn’t get a job in the Trump administration.

Calk stepped down as chairman and CEO of the Federal Savings Bank, a $ 1.4 billion mortgage lending institution, around the time he was charged.

By that time, Manafort had been criminally indicted and the federal government sought confiscation of his interest in the properties securing the two loans, according to the indictment. The bank and its holding company are said to have written off more than $ 12 million in loss.

In 2018, Manafort was convicted of financial fraud following a lawsuit that included testimony about his dealings with the Federal Savings Bank. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, but Trump pardoned him in December 2020.


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