Trump Organization found guilty of tax crimes

December 7, 2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Former US President Donald Trump’s real estate firm, The Trump Organization, has been found guilty of tax fraud.

Following two days of deliberations by the jury in New York, it was found guilty on all counts on Tuesday.

Although the company is linked with the former president, neither Mr. Trump nor any of his relatives were directly prosecuted.

The business was found guilty of enriching its senior executives for more than ten years with rewards that weren’t reported on the books.

Prosecutors claimed that the untaxed benefits, which compensated for lower compensation and thereby reduced the amount of tax the company was obligated to pay, included expensive cars and private school tuition.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors the company is anticipated to pay a fine of about $1.6 million (£1.3 million), and it might also have trouble in the future getting loans and financing.

The trial has drawn Mr. Trump’s ire for being politically motivated. After Allen Weisselberg, his longtime former chief financial officer, entered a guilty plea in August and gave a false testimony against the company, he also attacked the man.

Meanwhile, a company attorney declared that the conviction would be appealed.

During the six-week trial, the prosecution alleged that the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses, and other assets all over the world, has a “culture of fraud and deception.”

They said that it employed a technique that permitted some executives to “understate their salary” in order to pay taxes that “were much less than the amounts that should have been paid.”

In his closing remarks to the jury, the prosecution’s Joshua Steinglass said that the smorgasbord of incentives was created to keep the company’s top executives content and devoted.

The Trump Organization’s two businesses, Trump Corp and Trump Payroll Corp, were found guilty of all 17 counts of tax fraud and fabricating financial documents.

​​Tuesday’s verdict was applauded by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who described the case as being “about greed and cheating.”

He claimed that for 13 years the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation got away with a programme that gave high-level executives enormous perks and pay while purposefully hiding the benefits from taxing authorities.

Mr. Weisselberg, 75, testified against the business. As a result, he will not be sentenced to any jail time.

He will serve his sentence at the notorious Rikers Island prison and have to repay more than $1.7 million (£1.4 million) in hidden income.

The judge appointed January 13 as the day of sentencing following the verdict.

A separate legal action against Mr. Trump and his three eldest children might result in a business ban in the state.

Letitia James, the attorney general of New York and the prosecutor in charge of that civil case, hailed Tuesday’s decision as a “big victory” in a statement.

It demonstrates that we will hold people and organisations responsible when they break the law to enrich themselves, she said.

Darren Stephenson

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