The Trump Organization was found guilty of criminal tax fraud on Tuesday — and now former President Donald Trump’s real estate firm could face a $1.6 million fine.
The Trump Org was convicted on all 17 counts it faced — including tax fraud, forgery of business records, conspiracy and related crimes — after two days of deliberations in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The company is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg praised the jury’s verdict — the first criminal conviction against one of Trump’s companies.
“This case was about greed and fraud,” Bragg said. “Today’s verdict blames these Trump companies for their long-standing criminal system.”
Prosecutors alleged during the four-week trial that the Trump Org spent 15 years helping top executives avoid income taxes on convenient off-the-books benefits like rent, private schooling and luxury cars.
The jury of eight men and four women heard from Allen Weisselberg, a prominent prosecution witness and former CFO of the Trump Org, who testified last month, “It was my personal greed that led to this case.”
Lawyers for the Trump Org have claimed that Weisselberg acted alone and that he was solely to blame.
Still, Weisselberg, 75, admitted that even after Donald Trump’s children, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., found out in 2017 that he and other executives engaged in tax fraud, they weren’t punished. Instead, Weisselberg — who is currently on furlough and on a $640,000 salary from the company — received a $200,000 raise.
The 45th President and his children will not be charged in the case.
But during closing arguments, prosecutors from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office claimed Trump was aware of what Weisselberg was up to and that he “explicitly” sanctioned the tax fraud.
“This whole narrative that Donald Trump is fortunately ignorant just isn’t real,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass told jurors.
Steinglass said the tax fraud also benefited the company by keeping labor costs down and increasing tax deductions.
“The executives make more and the company pays less,” Steinglass said. “A win-win situation for everyone except the helmsman. In the end that is all.”
But Trump Org attorney Susan Necheles pointed the finger at Weisselberg.
“We are here today for one reason and one reason only: Allen Weisselberg’s greed,” she said in her summaries.
Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to $1.7 million in failed benefits that he failed to report to tax authorities. In exchange for his cooperation with the government, he is to be sentenced to five months in prison.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/trump-org-found-guilty-in-tax-fraud-case/ Trump Org found guilty in tax fraud case