There are two types of people in this world: those who know how to convert PDFs into Word documents and those who are indicted for money laundering.
…As one former federal prosecutor told the Washington Post, Manafort and Gates’ methods appear to have been “extensive and bold and greedy with a capital ‘G,’ but … not all that sophisticated.”
…So here’s the essence of what went wrong for Manafort and Gates, according to Mueller’s investigation: Manafort allegedly wanted to falsify his company’s income, but he couldn’t figure out how to edit the PDF. He therefore had Gates turn it into a Microsoft Word document for him, which led the two to bounce the documents back-and-forth over email. As attorney and blogger Susan Simpson notes on Twitter, Manafort’s inability to complete a basic task on his own seems to have effectively “created an incriminating paper trail.”
…What have we learned from all this? If you’re going to engage in some kind of complicated conspiracy, it’s probably a good idea to bone up on some basic computer skills first.