Donald Trump’s company convicted in executive tax dodge scheme

Under the penalty, the Trump Organization could be fined up to $1.6 million, a relatively small amount for a company of that size.

NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s company was found guilty of tax fraud Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the Manhattan District Attorney, a substantial dismissal of the financial practices at the former president’s business.

A grand jury found two corporate entities at the Trump Organization guilty of all 17 counts, including conspiracy and falsifying business records.

The ruling came on the second day of deliberation following a trial in which the Trump Organization was accused of being complicit in a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on the privileges. jobs like free apartments and luxury cars.

The verdict is confirmation for New York prosecutors, who have spent three years investigating the former president and his businesses, although the penalties are not expected to be severe enough to jeopardize the future of the Trump company.

Under the penalty, the Trump Organization could be fined up to $1.6 million — a relatively small amount for a company of that size, although the judgment could put some future deals on hold. Theirs becomes more complex.

Trump, who recently announced he will run for president again, has said the lawsuit against his company is part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” led by Democrats. hatred waged against him.

Trump himself was not tried, but prosecutors allege that he “knew exactly what was going on” with the scheme, although he and the company’s attorneys denied that.

The lawsuit against the company builds largely on the testimony of former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who previously pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company’s books and packages. own compensation to illegally reduce taxes.

Weisselberg testified in exchange for the promised five-month prison sentence.

To convict the Trump Organization, prosecutors had to convince jurors that Weisselberg or his subordinate, Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney, were “senior” agents instead. on behalf of the company and that the company also benefits from his plan.

Trump Organization lawyers repeated the mantra “Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg” over and over during the month-long trial. They allege that the CEO cheated and betrayed the trust of the company. They argued that no one in the Trump family or the company should be held accountable.

Despite testifying as a prosecution witness, Weisselberg also tried to hold accountable as a witness, saying no one in the Trump family knew what he was doing.

Weisselberg emotionally testified: “It was my personal greed that led to this.

Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion on a $1.7 million extra benefit, testified that he and McConney conspired to hide that additional compensation from his income by deduct their expenses from his pre-tax paycheck and issue fake W-2 forms.

In his final argument, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass tried to refute the claim that Trump knew nothing about the plan. He showed jurors a lease Trump signed for the apartment paid for by Weisselberg’s company and a memo Trump signed off authorizing another executive’s pay cut. get privileges.

“Mr. Trump is clearly punishing tax fraud,” argued Steinglass.

The ruling does not end Trump’s battle with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who took office in January.

Bragg has said that an investigation involving Trump that began under his predecessor, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., is “active and ongoing.”

In that wide-ranging investigation, investigators looked into whether Trump misled banks and others about the value of real estate, golf courses and other properties he held – The allegations are central to the pending lawsuit of New York Attorney General Letitia James against the former president and his company.

The district attorney’s office also investigated whether any state law was violated when Trump allies paid two women who claimed to have had sex with Republicans years ago.

Near the end of his term last year, Vance directed delegates to present evidence to a grand jury about possible charges against Trump. However, after taking office, Bragg let the grand jury disband so he could review the case.

On Monday, he confirmed that a new lead prosecutor had been dispatched to handle that investigation, again signaling that it was still active. Donald Trump’s company convicted in executive tax dodge scheme

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