Sam Patten, 47, has been sentenced to three years of probation without jail time, a $5,000 fine, and 500 hours of “hands on” community service by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, CNN reports.
The prosecutors said Patten gave “substantial assistance” to the Justice Department and did not recommend a specific sentence. Patten pleaded guilty to one violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act when he failed to register his work on behalf of a oligarch who funded a Ukrainian political party, a crime which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
As part of his plea agreement, Patten admitted to using a “straw purchaser” to buy four tickets to President Trump’s inauguration for a Ukrainian oligarch and secretly funneling the $50,000 through a Cypriot bank account to the committee. Presidential inaugural committees are not allowed to accept money from foreign nationals and Trump inaugural committee finances are under investigation, according to CNN. In addition, he admitted to misleading and withholding documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Politico reports.
His defense pointed out to Judge Jackson that Patten did not intend to buy influence in the Trump administration, saying that he supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. They pointed to disorganization and a desire to accommodate his client for an explanation of his break down of judgement. Patten’s defense attorney said, “Mr. Patten had a choice along the way between kind of his career and assisting the government and he chose his country,”
Patten expressed contrition in today’s sentencing hearing, saying, “I fully recognize the seriousness of my conduct and crimes that I’ve committed. I behaved as though the law didn’t apply to me, and that was wrong.”
Judge Jackson said Patten’s behavior was absolutely intentional, serious, and misled the public. She said, “You hid and misrepresented the true nature of the work on behalf of the Ukrainian party and the purchase of the inaugural tickets. I’m probably most troubled by that because it goes beyond the failure to register.”
Details of Patten’s cooperation remain under seal, although he was prepared to testify against Paul Manafort, before Manafort pleaded guilty.
Patten also worked with Konstantin Kilimnik, an Ukrainian associate of Manafort’s. Kilimnik, who has ties to Russian military intelligence, was indicted in June 2018 along with Paul Manafort on charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
Judge Jackson, who handled one of Paul Manafort’s cases and who will be overseeing the cases brought against Roger Stone and Gregory Craig, former Obama White House Counsel, was irritated by the prosecution’s lack of sentencing recommendation and said she disliked “reading between the lines”. Assistant US attorney Felix Campoamor-Sanchez informed the judge that this was a first for him but he was not “at liberty” to offer a sentencing suggestion.
The lack of a suggested sentence implied the government was satisfied with Patten receiving a probation. Per Politico, Campoamor-Sanchez said of Patten, “He began cooperating with the government right away. He was honest. He was straightforward. He is in a much more positive place.”