The former son-in-law of disgraced onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to a series of fraudulent schemes, including one that swindled actor Dustin Hoffman out of $3 million.
Jeffrey Yohai, 37, who divorced Manafort’s daughter Jessica in 2017, was also ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution at his sentencing in Los Angeles Federal Court.
“This is an individual who has an evil mind — I don’t know how else to say it,” Judge Andre Birotte Jr said. “It seems he felt he could do whatever he wants - but that buck stops here.”
Yohai pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud for schemes that included renting out luxury homes without the permission of their owners and selling non-existent backstage passes for the Coachella music festival.
Prosecutors said Yohai persuaded Hoffman and his son Jacob to invest in a real estate project, but used their $3 million investment for personal expenses and to pay debts.
“Defendant has done tremendous damage to a huge number of victims,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Brown wrote in a court filing, adding that Yohai “has shown an almost unbelievable compulsion to defraud others, to the point that he could not stop even while awaiting this court’s judgment on him in the first case, which strongly suggests that he will continue on his criminal path despite having been blessed with so many advantages.”
“Worse, he seems to enjoy committing fraud and revels in cheating others out of their hard-earned money, as though he thought real work was only for patsies,” Brown added.
Jessica Manafort attended the sentencing, according to reports.
Last year, Paul Manafort pleaded guilty in D.C. federal court to foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He was also convicted in Virginia of committing bank and tax fraud by hiding millions of dollars in income he earned in Ukraine from the IRS.
Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison this past March in the Virginia case and received 73 months in prison in the D.C. case.
Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office argued at the sentencing in March that Manafort wasn’t deserving of any credit for agreeing to cooperate in the Russia probe because he repeatedly lied to investigators and to the grand jury after his guilty plea.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.