A jury in New York City has handed down its decision in a trial involving several counts of tax fraud and other charges against the Trump Organization, and it’s not good for the former president.
A Manhattan jury has found two Trump Organization companies guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records connected to a 15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top executives.
The Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. were found guilty on all charges they faced.
It should be noted that neither Donald Trump nor any of his family members were on trial nor have they been criminally charged.
But the guilty verdict for Trump’s companies could empower federal or state prosecutors, especially in Democrat-controlled New York, to probe him even more.
“[T]he former president was mentioned repeatedly during the trial by prosecutors about his connection to the benefits doled out to certain executives, including company-funded apartments, car leases and personal expenses,” CNN noted further.
“He is also facing a $250 million civil lawsuit from the New York attorney general alleging he and his adult children were involved in a decade long fraud. The attorney general is seeking to permanently bar them from serving as an officer or director of a company in New York state, among other penalties,” the outlet continued.
Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury in closing arguments that Trump “explicitly sanctioned” tax fraud and urged them to reject the defense’s argument that former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was a rogue employee motivated by his own personal greed.
“This whole narrative that Donald Trump is blissfully ignorant is just not true,” Steinglass said.
The jury heard that Trump agreed on a whim to pay the private school tuition for his Weisselberg’s grandchildren and signed a lease for a Manhattan apartment to shorten the executive’s commute. Trump personally signed his employees’ bonus checks at Christmas time and he initialed a memo reducing the salary of another top executives, which prosecutors said suggested he knew all along about the fraudulent scheme.
It’s not yet known if this verdict will be appealed, or what bearing the case will have on Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.