Secret ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Donald Trump's campaign manager from the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Paul Manafort, who joined Trump's presidential campaign in March, was a former consultant for the Party of Regions — Yanukovych's now-defunct pro-Russian political party. But the reported payments, from 2007 to 2012, may be part of an illegal off-the-books system, the Times said.
In a statement Monday, Manafort called the report "unfounded, silly and nonsensical." He added that he had never taken an "off-the-books cash payment" nor worked for the governments of Ukraine or Russia.
Officials have yet to determine whether Manafort actually received the cash, but they claim the money was earmarked for him, the Times said. In a statement to the newspaper, Manafort's lawyer Richard A. Hibey denied that the lobbyist had received any such cash payments.
Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency in February 2014 following months of violent protests, and eventually fled to Russia, where he was granted protection. Yanukovych's regime was characterized by widespread graft, and Transparency International in February branded the ex-leader "as one of the most symbolic cases of grand corruption."
Ukrainian authorities are also investigating a number of offshore shell companies that allegedly financed luxurious purchases by Yanukovych's elite inner circle, the Times reported.
Read the full report here.