Paul Manafort’s Brooklyn Property Gets a Fake ‘Landmark’ Designation After His Federal Indictment
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is looking at some serious prison time after his federal indictment on conspiracy and money laundering charges—and it has also served to make Manafort’s Brooklyn property the butt of the joke.
A fake “landmark” designation placard appeared in front of the veteran strategist’s house on the heels of the unveiling of bombshell charges against Manafort and an associate in conjunction with a federal probe into Russian attempts to meddle with the 2016 election.
“377 Union Street will forever be known as the building that lead [sic] to the collapse of the presidency of Donald J. Trump,” the makeshift sign read, according to a photo shared with Newsweek via social media Tuesday night.
The snarky signage formally declared the building’s finances “would later become the foundation for initial charges of money laundering and conspiracy against the United States of America.”
An image of the sign also appeared on Twitter earlier Tuesday.
A spokesman for Manafort, who pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday night on the sign or the property.
The former top Trump aide’s Brooklyn building has become something of a cause—but decidedly not a cause celebre—in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood.
A source who lives nearby told Newsweek that “for a couple of years, it’s just been this empty, desolate brownstone” surrounded by debris. “It was literally a dump,” the ticked-off resident said of the long chained-up building. “It looked like something out of the movie ‘It.’ It was ridiculous.”
But recently construction on the building began in earnest, the source said, running far past dark. “All of a sudden, they’re doing all this work and leaving shit all over the place,” the resident griped, adding that workers would place cones in the street to block off parking spaces and allow drywall dust to coat cars in the area.
The Union Street building became such a neighborhood curiosity (or headache) that it inspired some local detective work.
On her “Pardon Me For Asking” blog, Katia Kelly, a longtime resident of Carroll Gardens, has won acclaim for digging into the backstory of the Manafort property, sifting through public records for details about the multiple mortgages taken out on the empty structure.
“Even with home prices going up tremendously in Carroll Gardens in the past few years, one could say that the mortgage amount of $6,803,750 exceeds the current value of this house, especially in its current condition,” Kelly wrote in February.
The complicated finances of the Brooklyn building ended up, as multiple reports have noted, as part of the case against Manafort, who faces charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
While Kelly’s blog bio says she over decades “developed a deep affection for this historic brownstone enclave,” that affection apparently didn’t extend to the Manafort building—although it did to the newly erected sign.
“I don’t know who is responsible for this sign, but it is brilliant. Respect!” Kelly wrote Tuesday in an entry describing 377 Union as “notorious” in its headline and urged the signmaker, “send me an email and I’ll buy you a drink.”
The neighbor who initially pointed Newsweek to the sign expressed hopes that the Manafort property would be fixed up and sold and that its current owner wouldn’t be seen on the block anytime soon.
“This is a nice neighborhood,” the source insisted. “How do you explain to your kids that there’s a traitor among us?”