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Ex-bank CEO charged with lending millions to Paul Manafort in exchange for help getting Trump White House job

Christina Wilkie
Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the District Courthouse after a motion hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Former Paul Manafort associate Stephen Calk, a Chicago-based banker has been indicted, federal prosecutors announced Thursday, on charges that he used his position as president of the Federal Savings Bank to loan the former Trump campaign chairman millions of dollars in high-risk loans in 2016 and 2017, in exchange for Manafort's help securing a high-level Trump administration position.

According to the indictment, Manafort received three separate home loans from Federal Savings Bank valued at up to $16 million. In exchange, Manafort pledged to help Calk get appointed as then-incoming President Donald Trump's secretary of the Army, or a similarly senior post.

Manafort is serving a seven year prison sentence in federal custody after he was convicted last year on several counts of tax and bank fraud.

Manafort was fired from the Trump campaign in August 2016, following reports the he engaged in extensive and undisclosed lobbying on behalf of a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine. But he remained an influential figure in Trump's political orbit throughout the 2016 election and into the early months of Trump's presidency.

In a statement Thursday, federal prosecutor Audrey Strauss accused Calk of having "abused the power entrusted to him as the top official of a federally insured bank by approving millions of dollars in high-risk loans in an effort to secure a personal benefit, namely an appointment as Secretary of the Army or another similarly high-level position in the incoming presidential administration."

Strauss added: "Calk's alleged attempt to obtain such an appointment was unsuccessful, and the loans he approved were ultimately downgraded by the bank's primary regulator."

According to the indictment, however, Manafort did at least manage to secure a position for Calk in 2016 on the Trump campaign's economic advisory committee, and later pulled strings to get Calk a formal interview with the Trump transition team for a job as under secretary of the Army, although Calk was not ultimately hired.

Calk is expected to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon.

Calk, a lawyer for Manafort and the White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.