A Manhattan jury has found the Trump Organization guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records connected to a 13-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top executives.
Two companies named as defendants, the Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. were found guilty on all charges after former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg testified about the schemes used to cheat on taxes.
Jurors determined the Trump Organization is guilty of engaging in a scheme to defraud, as well as for conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.
“This was a case about greed and cheating. In Manhattan, no corporation is above the law,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. “For 13 years the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation got away with a scheme that awarded high-level executives with lavish perks and compensation while intentionally concealing the benefits from the taxing authorities to avoid paying taxes.”
“Today’s verdict holds these Trump companies accountable for their long-running criminal scheme, in addition to Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who has pled guilty, testified at trial and will now be sentenced to serve time in jail,” said Bragg.
Donald Trump was not personally charged in this case, but the former president’s corporation illegally doled out to certain executives benefits–including company–funded apartments, car leases and personal expenses-in a way that robbed taxpayers by evading the company’s fair share.
The Trump Organization could face a maximum of $1.61 million in fines when sentenced in mid-January.
In his testimony, Weisselberg detailed how he and the company’s comptroller, Jeffrey McConney, schemed to cheat state and federal tax authorities over a 15-year period beginning in 2005. Weisselberg used the company to cover major personal expenses like rent for a luxury apartment on the Hudson River, Mercedes Benz leases for himself and his wife and private school tuition for his grandchildren.
In some instances, he paid the company back for his personal expenses, which allowed him to use pre-tax compensation illegally. Other expenses were paid for by the company but not reported as taxable income as required by tax laws.
McConney, who admitted in his testimony to committing crimes, was granted immunity under New York law because he was called by prosecutors as a grand jury witness in the case.
The company is not at risk of being dismantled because there is no mechanism under New York law that would dissolve the company.
However, a felony conviction could hinder its ability to do business or obtain loans or contracts.
Trump is also a defendant in a civil action brought by New York Attorney General Leticia James that alleged he falsified documents that understated his tax liabilities and inflated values of collateral used to secure loans, along with his adult children and other company executives.
The 2020 election loser is also the subject of a grand jury probe in Georgia, where he attempted to induce officials to tamper with the ballot count.
A special counsel was appointed to oversee investigations and prosecute crimes related to the top secret documents found by FBI agents at Mar-a-lago and a separate probe related to the failed coup d’état on January 6, 2021.