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Chicago banker convicted in loans-for-Trump job scheme

The jury returned its verdict in federal court, convicting Stephen Calk of financial institution bribery and conspiracy charges

Chicago banker Stephen Calk, left, leaves Federal court in New York, Thursday, June 24, 2021. He was convicted on charges that he tried to buy himself a senior post in former President Donald Trump’s administration by making risky loans to Trump onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Chicago banker Stephen Calk, left, leaves Federal court in New York, Thursday, June 24, 2021. He was convicted on charges that he tried to buy himself a senior post in former President Donald Trump’s administration by making risky loans to Trump onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
AP

NEW YORK — A Manhattan jury on Tuesday convicted a Chicago banker of criminal charges for enabling Paul Manafort to get $16 million in loans before the former campaign manager for ex-President Donald Trump helped him get an interview for a job in the Trump administration.

The jury returned its verdict in federal court, convicting Stephen Calk of financial institution bribery and conspiracy charges. Calk’s lawyers had maintained their client did nothing illegal in the weeks after Trump won the presidential election in November 2016.

But prosecutors said Calk cleared the path for Manafort to receive loans he was not entitled to in the hopes that Calk could secure a high-level post with the Trump administration. Although Calk eventually got an interview at Trump Tower, he was not hired.

Sentencing was set for Jan. 10 for Calk, who was the former chief executive of The Federal Savings Bank.

During the trial, Anthony Scaramucci testified that he never would have enabled Calk to get the interview for the administration post if he had know that Calk was helping Manafort to get millions of dollars in loans for his real estate ventures.

Scaramucci had testified that Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign manager for a key stretch from June to early August 2016, reached out to him in mid-to-late December 2016 to encourage him to consider Calk for an important position.

At the time, Scaramucci was working on Trump’s presidential transition team.

Although Calk had hoped to become Secretary of the Army, he eventually interviewed for other positions when it became clear he could not secure that position, testimony showed.