Manafort associate pleads guilty, will cooperate with Mueller investigation


Patten told the Daily Beast earlier this year that he worked with the company in its 2014 USA elections work and on "several overseas campaigns".

Patten was a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a man USA authorities say has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort was also convicted this month on bank- and tax-fraud charges in Virginia.

The Justice Department is charging a Washington lobbyist with failing to register as a foreign agent in a case linked to political work done by Paul Manafort.

Court papers don't refer to Kilimnik by name, but say Patten worked with a Russian national. In addition to inserting op-ed articles into USA media organizations, Patten and his company set up meetings with his foreign clients and US government officials, including senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, representatives on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and officials from the State Department.

Prosecutors say that Patten "solicited a United States citizen to act as a "straw" purchaser" in order to hide the source of the money for the tickets.

Sam Patten is accused of "willfully" acting as an agent for the Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc between 2014 and this year, according to a filing to federal court in Washington DC on Friday, according to The Guardian. But Mr. Patten's case was handled by prosecutors outside the special counsel's team in federal court in Washington.

Patten was informed in writing of the ban, court papers say.

Patten was released on his own recognizance Friday without a sentencing date. Legal experts told Business Insider that the decision to charge Patten with a criminal information indicates that he will likely cooperate with prosecutors.

Manafort's Washington trial is scheduled to start September 24. Back in June, Mueller issued a superseding indictment, adding obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges to a litany of lobbying and fraud offenses allegedly committed by Manafort.

According to court papers, Patten misled the committee during his testimony and withheld certain documents to hide that Foreigner B had been behind the purchase of inauguration tickets. The oligarch then repaid Patten through a Cypriot bank account.

Patten also reportedly worked at the OR office of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL Group, on voter targeting in the US 2014 midterm election cycle, according to the Daily Beast, which said he described his work as developing "microtargeting" technologies "adopted by at least one major USA presidential candidate". He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony charge.

Patten, who served in the State Department under George W. Bush, headed the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute in the early 2000s.

Patten, according to the filing, contacted members of Congress and the executive branch, as well as members of the media, on behalf of his clients.

The 35-minute court proceeding was sparsely attended by members of the press and court employees, yet members of Mueller's special counsel's office filled a front row of seats.