Trump Organization Charged With Tax Fraud Over Benefits

As Donald Trump rose from reality TV star to the White House, his real estate firm financed residences and expensive automobiles for key staffers.

The Trump Organization is on trial this week for felony tax fraud, accused of a 15-year plan to conceal plums and dodge taxes.

Trump Organization Charged With Tax Fraud Over Benefits
Trump Organization Charged With Tax Fraud Over Benefits

Monday in New York is opening remarks and first witnesses. 12 jurors and six alternates were chosen last week for the case, the sole criminal trial from the Manhattan DA’s three-year probe into the former president.

Trump’s longtime finance head Allen Weisselberg pled guilty and agreed to testify in return for a five-month prison term.

If convicted, the Trump Organization may face a $1 million fine and trouble accessing financing and acquisitions. Partners and governments may terminate links with the firm. It might also hinder its ability to do business with the U.S. Secret Service, which pays the firm for housing and services while guarding Trump.

Trump and his children who are Trump Organization executives are not charged with a crime. Trump won’t testify or attend trial.

Prosecutors say they don’t need to show Trump knew about the conspiracy to prosecute him and that the case “isn’t about Donald Trump.” Defense attorney William J. Brennan stated Trump is “ever present, like the mist in the room”

Trump is associated with the Trump Organization, which administers his various businesses, including golf courses, luxury skyscrapers, real estate, marketing partnerships, and TV activities.

Trump signed some cheques at issue. His name appears on corporate memos. Witnesses might discuss Trump chats. They may end up in Trump’s personal ledgers.

Prosecutors said The Trump Organization is accountable via Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. because Weisselberg was a “high management agent” authorized to act on their behalf.

Trump Organization denies wrongdoing. The corporation’s attorneys say Weisselberg and other executives acted alone and hurt the firm financially.

Weisselberg, who pled guilty to collecting $1.7 million in off-the-books income, blamed himself and other Trump Organization officials, including Jeffrey McConney.

He disputed that the corporation was affected, stating the benefits saved money by avoiding increases.

Prosecutors want to summon 15 witnesses, including Weisselberg and McConney, who was given limited immunity to testify last year.

Judge Juan Manuel Merchan anticipates the trial to span at least four weeks, while a defense counsel said the prosecution case may stretch two months. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are full-day court days; Friday is half-day. The judge will not hear the trial on Wednesday.

 

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