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Jury finds Donald Trump’s real estate company, the Trump Organization, guilty of tax evasion | New


NEW YORK (TNS) A Manhattan jury returned a guilty verdict on Tuesday in the massive tax evasion case against Donald Trump’s family real estate business.

The jury began deliberating in Manhattan Supreme Court just before 1 p.m. Monday. More than 24 hours later, he said the Trump Corp. guilty of all nine counts against her, including scheme fraud, conspiracy to commit robbery, criminal tax evasion, falsification of business records and other related charges.

The panel said the Trump Payroll Corp. guilty of all eight counts she faced in the case, including falsification of business records, conspiracy to defraud, criminal tax evasion and related counts.

The consequence of the guilty verdict against the two entities is a fine of $1.76 million.

Longtime Trump executives Allen Weisselberg and Jeff McConney spent days on the stand, their testimony comprising most of the Manhattan prosecutors’ case.

The jury has been asked to decide whether veteran Trump Organizations CFO Weisselberg was acting as a top executive agent when he cheated on his taxes for 15 years and did so partly on behalf of of the company. He has worked for the Trump family since 1973 and as chief financial officer since 1986.

Weiseselberg pleaded guilty in August to conspiring with McConney to hide $1.76 million in untaxed employee benefits, such as Mercedes-Benz car leases for him and his wife and private tuition for his grandchildren. to the tax authorities. The executives subtracted the costs of Weisselberg’s salary and bonuses and drafted falsified tax forms for the employees.

McConney, a stalwart companion who was declared a witness hostile to the prosecution, admitted to breaking the law when he testified under immunity. Jurors also heard about how Trump Organizations chief operating officer Matt Calamari Sr. benefited from the program in much the same way as Weisselberg and his wife and namesake son. He did not face criminal charges.

Per the terms of his plea deal, Weisselberg testified as a star witness for district attorneys, admitted to the fraud and described how it benefited his employer.

The Trump entities made the same defense: Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg.

But Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass, in his closing argument, described the compensation scam at the heart of the case as beneficial to senior Trump executives and his company.

Steinglass said the entities cultivated a culture of fraud and deception by lavishing illicit benefits to induce its senior executives to falsify tax documents to hide the actual compensation they earned and then deliberately conceal the wrongdoing from their accountants. .

The ADA said they further scapegoated these accountants for not being vigilant enough to detect their wrongdoing. Trump has publicly blamed his company’s longtime tax preparer, Donald Bender of Mazars LLP USA, for not catching the fraud.

It was a win-win, a way to get more money out of executives’ pockets while keeping their own costs as low as possible, Steinglass said in his summary.

It’s not that the folks at the Trump Organization didn’t know what they were doing was illegal, it’s just that they didn’t care.

Steinglass pushed back against claims by attorneys for the Trump Organization that the company owner was in the dark about the rampant fraud. The judge allowed him to point the finger at the former president in his summary after defense attorneys brought it up first.

This whole story that Donald Trump was blissfully ignorant just isn’t real, Steinglass said in his summary, later adding, “He’s not on trial, but that doesn’t mean you should believe the defense story.” that Allen Weisselberg and Matthew Calamari have gone rogue.

The case stems from a larger investigation by Manhattan prosecutors into the former president, launched by DA Braggs’ predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr. in 2019. Trump has not been criminally charged in the case, and while rumors abound, it’s unclear if he ever will. Bragg described the Trump investigation as active and ongoing.

District attorneys’ offices announced on Monday that they had hired Matthew Colangelo as Braggs’ new lead attorney, adding to speculation that the prosecutor may still be pulling the trigger on an indictment of Trump. The seasoned prosecutor and former acting associate attorney general for the Justice Department led several Trump cases and investigations.

Colangelo will focus on the DA’s Housing, Tenant and Labor Protection Unit and its sensitive and high-profile white-collar investigations, according to a press release.

(By Molly Crane-Newman and John Annese, New York Daily News)




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