The Trump Organization was sentenced in New York on Friday to pay a fine of up to $1.6 million for tax and financial fraud, the Manhattan prosecutor said in a statement.
The group of billionaire Republican Donald Trump, who aspires to run for the 2024 presidential elections, was tried for tax evasion and falsifying accounting statements, with the aim of hiding financial compensation from some leaders from tax services.
This is the first criminal case for the former president’s family corporation (2017-2021), which includes golf clubs, luxury hotels and real estate.
The Trump Organization expects an even larger civil trial in 2023 on a different case of financial fraud.
“Today, the companies of former President Trump were fined the maximum penalties allowed by law after landmark convictions totaling 17 felonies,” prosecutor Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
Two companies in the group, Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation, were accused of having granted economic or in-kind benefits to senior executives, hiding them from the tax authorities to avoid paying taxes, between 2005 and 2018.
Among them is a former CFO of the company, Allen Weisselberg, who is very close to Trump, who pleaded guilty to 15 charges and was sentenced Tuesday for the same case to five months in prison and a fine of more than two million dollars. .
He was accused of benefiting from free rent for a luxury Manhattan apartment, making Mercedes cars available, and paying private school tuition for his grandchildren, resulting in approximately $1.76 million in unearned income. declared for years.
When his sentence was announced, Weisselberg, 75, who had started working in 1973 as an accountant for Trump’s father, went to Rikers Island prison in handcuffs to serve out his sentence.
– Betraying trust –
On December 6, when his guilt was announced, the Trump Organization informed, through one of its lawyers, Susan Necheles, that it would appeal, while seeking to blame Weisselberg, assuring that he himself had “declared under oath (to have) ‘betrayed ‘ the confidence (of) the company”.
Trump, who has denounced a “witch hunt” on several occasions, has not been personally accused of this trial and is not charged in any legal case at the moment, but sees the files accumulate in the courts as he enters the race for the 2024 Republican nomination.
In the two most high-profile cases, the attack by his supporters on the headquarters of Congress on January 6, 2021, and the attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, special counsel Jack Smith must investigate in particular possible lawsuits by the role of the former president (2017-2021).
Although he does not face criminal charges, the billionaire must appear before a New York civil court, with three of his children – Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka – also accused of fraudulent tax practices within the Trump Organization.
In this case, the attorney general of the state of New York, Letitia James, accuses the Trump family of having “deliberately” manipulated the valuations of the group’s assets to obtain more advantageous loans from banks or reduce their taxes.
James claims 250 million dollars in damages on behalf of the State, as well as the prohibition for the former president and his relatives to manage companies.
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