GUILTY: Trump Organization convicted On All Counts Of Criminal Tax Fraud
Donald Trump’s company was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday. The verdict is a significant repudiation of financial practices at the former president’s business.
As reported by CNN, the development came on the second day of deliberations following a trial in which the Trump Organization was accused of being complicit in a criminal scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on job perks such as rent-free apartments and luxury cars.
The guilty verdict is a validation for New York prosecutors, who have spent three years investigating the former president and his businesses, though the penalties aren’t expected to be severe enough to jeopardize the future of Trump’s company.
The case against the Trump Organization was built largely around testimony from the company’s former finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, who previously pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company’s books and his own compensation package to illegally avoid paying taxes. Weisselberg testified in exchange for a promised five-month jail sentence.
During cross-examination, Weisselberg testified that he and other Trump organization officials conspired to hide that extra compensation from his income by deducting their cost from his pre-tax salary and issuing falsified W-2 forms.
During his closing argument, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass showed jurors a lease Trump signed for Weisselberg’s company-paid apartment and a memo Trump initialed authorizing a pay cut for another executive who got perks.
“Mr. Trump is explicitly sanctioning tax fraud,” Steinglass argued.
As noted by CNN, the verdict doesn’t end Trump’s problems in New York.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that a related investigation of Trump that began under his predecessor, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., is “active and ongoing.”
In that wide-ranging probe, investigators have examined whether Trump misled banks and others about the value of his real estate holdings, golf courses and other assets — allegations at the heart of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ pending lawsuit against the former president and his company.
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