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Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud by jury

  • Security

By Ryan Morgan

A jury in Manhattan, New York found two business entities within Donald Trump’s organization guilty on all counts in a 17-count criminal tax fraud case.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

The jury came back with its guilty verdict on all counts on Tuesday afternoon after just over a day of deliberations. In all, the jury found two entities — Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. — guilty of a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.

Following the verdict, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “This was a case about greed and cheating. In Manhattan, no corporation is above the law.”

“For 13 years the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation got away with a scheme that awarded high-level executives with lavish perks and compensation while intentionally concealing the benefits from the taxing authorities to avoid paying taxes,” Bragg continued. “Today’s verdict holds these Trump companies accountable for their long-running criminal scheme, in addition to Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who has pled guilty, testified at trial and will now be sentenced to serve time in jail. Thank you to the skilled prosecutors at the Manhattan DA’s office for their hard work on this case, as well as our talented colleagues at the Office of the Attorney General.”

Trump criticized the case in a post on his Truth social media platform before the verdict came in on 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,” Trump said. “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 Corp. was found guilty of:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, four counts

Trump Payroll Corp. was found guilty of:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts

The convictions against the two Trump Organization entities came after Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg plead guilty to criminal charges and testified against the Trump Organization during the trial.

According to Bragg, Weisselberg was “a prime beneficiary of the scheme” and received about $1.76 million in unreported compensation, including rent and utility payments on his luxury Manhattan apartment, Mercedes Benz cars for himself and his wife, furniture, cash for holiday trips and payments for his grandchildren’s private school tuitions. The two Trump Organization entities failed to report these payments on their taxes.

During the trial, lawyers defending the Trump businesses argued that Weisselberg acted for his own benefit and hid various benefits payments to himself from the Trump family.

At the trial, defense attorney Alan Futerfas later asked Weisselberg, “(Trump) didn’t authorize you to commit tax fraud did he?” to which Weisselberg said “of course not,” CBS reported.

When Futerfas asked if Weisselberg conspired with any member of the Trump family on the benefits scheme, he said “no.”

Weisselberg did testify during the trial that Donald Trump, or at times Eric Trump or Donald Trump Jr., signed checks for private school tuition payments for his grandchildren.

Weisselberg testified that it was a common practice for the Trump Organization to pay for his personal benefits. Weisselberg told Trump that he would pay back these personal benefits, which he said he did through reductions of his salary. Weisselberg said those salary reductions were then mitigated by bonus checks paid to him and other executives as though they were independent contractors for Trump Organization entities.

Weisselberg said this practice discontinued during Trump’s presidency.

“We were going through a company-wide cleanup process, making sure that since Mr. Trump was now president, everything was being done properly,” Weisselberg testified during the trial.

The Trump organization companies face about $1.6 million in fines at sentencing, NBC reported.

Source: American Military News

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