Put That On A Red Hat: The Trumps Family Business Is Convicted Of 17 Different Crimes
It’s never a good thing, especially when you’re running for President of the United States, to have to say: My company has been convicted of more than a dozen crimes that prosecutors say I’ve explicitly sanctioned. It’s just not a great look! Unfortunately for Donald Trump, that’s exactly the look the hell will be wearing on the 2024 runway from now on, thanks to the verdict just handed down by a New York State Supreme Court jury.
On Tuesday, the Trump Organization, which was created by Trump’s father and which the ex-president has owned for many decades, was found guilty of 17 different crimes, including tax evasion, conspiracy and forgery of documents. commercial. The company had been indicted in July 2021 alongside its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, but unlike Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to the long-running tax evasion scheme last August, had maintained his innocence. Prosecutors had accused the company of compensating the CFO (and other executives) with off-the-books benefits in an attempt to reduce their taxable income; in Weisselberg’s case, those perks included things like a free apartment on the Upper West Side, a pair of rented Mercedes-Benzes, private school tuition for his grandchildren, and cash at Christmas. so that Weisselberg can distribute personal vacation gratuities, among other things. The scheme benefited not only Weisselberg, which owed less income tax, but also the Trump Organization itself, which avoided payroll taxes on benefits. According to the indictment, the company kept literal spreadsheets of its crimes.
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Although Donald Trump has not been personally charged, his name has been cited throughout the trial, with prosecutors accusing him of explicitly sanctioning tax evasion. Hours before the ex-president announced he was running for office for the third time, Weisselberg, whose plea deal required him to tell the truth, told the jury that Trump was not only aware of the untaxed benefits at the heart of the government’s criminal case, he was the guy who authorized them. When asked if the private school tuition was personally paid by Trump, Weisselberg replied: Correct. About the rent-free apartment he was living in, Assistant District Attorney Susan Hoffinger asked Weisselberg, is it your understanding that was cleared by Mr. Trump? to which Weisselberg replied, That was my understanding, yes. Weisselberg definitely confirmed that the scheme saved the Trump Organization money, which the notoriously cheap Trump would no doubt have been very happy about.
Although the maximum financial penalty the Trump Organization will have to pay (less than $2 million) is a pittance for a company of its size, as The New York Times notes, it is the ripple effect for Trump, who is reportedly running in hopes of stopping various investigations into his conduct that may hurt the most.
The company’s conviction could now spill over into the 2024 presidential race, providing early fodder for naysayers and their attack ads.
It could also lay the groundwork for the District Attorney’s Office to step up its broader criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices and shut down money paid to a porn star who said she had an affair with him once. investigation that has gained momentum in recent months, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
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