TAX FRAUD ON STEROID: Trump Org. Official Drops Bombshell In Court
The Trump Organization criminal trial in New York resumed on Thursday and it quickly took a turn for the worse when the organization’s controller Jeffrey McConney testified about a scheme to hide fringe benefits to salaries and bonuses at the direction of high-level executives.
McConney said he followed instructions from former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg and other high-level Trump Org. executives to tack on fringe benefits to their salaries in bonuses that were ultimately not reported to the Department of Revenue, CNN reports.
The Trump Org. official revealed that the scheme included cutting bonus checks via 1099 tax forms meant for independent contractors – a method that does not withhold taxes on the employer’s end. Those employees then did not report those bonuses as income on their personal taxes, so they took the money tax-free over several years, he confirmed. The treatment also allowed the Trump Corporation to not pay payroll or Medicare taxes on the amount of the bonuses, the controller confirmed when asked on the stand.
McConney testified that Trump Org. Chief Operations Officer Matthew Calamari Sr. received bonuses as an independent contractor and fringe benefits including car leases for himself and his wife and $72,000 in annual rent for a Park Avenue apartment that was ultimately not reported to tax authorities, McConney said.
Calamari’s son who also works at the company got certain benefits – his rent at the Central Park South building in New York City was treated as a fringe benefit and records show his father paid at least $130,000 for his apartment renovation through the company without paying taxes on it.
McConney also admitted that he filed tax forms for Weisselberg, Calamari and others improperly reporting to tax authorities that they did not keep residences in New York City, leading them to evade city taxes.
During the trial, the jury saw the ledgers obtained by prosecutors in 2021 directly from Trump Org. Several line items on Donald Trump’s personal ledger appear to confirm the scheme.
The trial will resume on Monday, according to CNN.
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