BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump’s company found GUILTY of tax fraud in scheme where executives were given off-the-book luxury perks such as luxury cars and private school fees
- Trump’s company could face up to $1.6 million in fines
- It was found guilty on all counts after fraud prosecution
- Longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty and testified
- Trump railed against the case as a ‘witch hunt’ and called it ‘fringe benefits’
- Involves array of undeclared perks to execs including apartments, cars and tuition
The Trump Organization has been found guilty of fraud at a criminal trial in Manhattan.
The company was found guilty on all counts after facing a series of tax fraud charges.
The verdict carries both the stain of the president’s longtime company being found guilty and potential fines, although it faces a fine of just $1.6 million, a slap on the wrist for a large company.
Nevertheless, it could harm or complicate future business opportunities, and besmirches a company that was key to the former president’s political path to the White House, having described it as a world class company staffed by the very best people.
Trump’s company was accused of carrying out a 15-year-long criminal scheme to defraud tax authorities.
The scheme included paying personal expenses like free rent and car leases for top executives including former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg without reporting the income, and paying them bonuses as if they were independent contractors, prosecutors said.
Weisselberg testified for the prosecution but would not implicate Trump personally.
The Trump Organization has been found guilty of fraud at a criminal trial in Manhattan
Trump himself railed against the prosecution as another part of a wide-ranging ‘witch hunt’ against him, and claimed he faced a double standard for getting charged with ‘fringe-benefits.’
The verdict came after indictments of two different entities last year: Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation.
Weisselberg himself pleaded guilty to accepting free rent and use of a car and even private school tuition for family members as part of the scheme.
Trump himself does not face criminal liability in the matter – although he faces a separate civil suit by New York AG Letitia James, who is suing the company and family members for $250 million.
Longtime CFO Wllen Weisselberg pleaded guilty and testified, but did not implicate Trump
Trump Organization Attorneys Michael van der Veen and William Brennan return to the courtroom after a lunch recess during the Trump Organization tax fraud trial. The company faces fines of up to $1.6 million
The verdict comes a day after Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced a prominent new hire for his office, following reports that his team is taking a second look at the years old case involving porn star Stormy Daniels, who got ‘hush’ payments and claims she had an affair with Trump. Trump denies the affair.
Trump’s lawyers claimed the company was ‘betrayed’ by Weisselberg, who first worked for Trump’s father Fred when he ran the company, and claimed he set up the schemes on his own authority and for his own benefit. They said the burden was on him to truthfully declare his total earnings.
Prosecutors noted that it also benefited the company’s own bottom line.
Trump blasted the prosecution before a verdict was even reached Tuesday.
‘Murder and Violent Crime is at an all time high in NYC, and the D.A.’s office has spent almost all of its time & money fighting a political Witch Hunt for D.C. against “Trump” over Fringe Benefits, something that in the history of our Country, has never been so tried in Court before,’ he wrote on his Truth Social site.
‘Two weeks at trial, yet no MURDER CASE has gone to trial in 6 years, much to the consternation of victims mothers and families who are devastated that NOTHING is being done to bring JUSTICE. Too busy on “Donald.”
Trump has suffered legal setbacks before, suffering bankruptcies and settling in the Trump University lawsuit before taking office and his foundation was ordered to pay $2 million to charities.
But he now faces an array of legal challenges like never before. A new special counsel at the Justice Department is overseeing both the January 6 election overturn effort and the matter of government documents that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago after he left office.
The Fulton County, Georgia DA is probing the election overturn effort in her state, and the civil case in New York is ongoing.
More to follow
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