Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Trump Organization found guilty in tax fraud case

Former President Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on Nov. 15. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Trump Organization was convicted Tuesday over what prosecutors say was a 15-year scheme to defraud state and federal tax authorities, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced.

Why it matters: Former President Trump's company could face up to $1.6 million in fines, and the guilty verdict could hinder his ability to conduct business in New York City.

The big picture: Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg were charged in 2021 with tax-related offenses, including paying executives with "off the books" compensation, such as apartments and luxury cars.

  • The indictment said that the Trump Organization operated the yearslong scheme to allow some employees to "understate their compensation" so that their taxes "were significantly less than the amounts that should have been paid."
  • Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to all 15 counts in the indictment from the Manhattan district attorney's office. He was also required to testify as part of the plea deal.
  • Trump has criticized the charges as politically motivated.

Between the lines: The former president and his family were not charged in the case.

What they're saying: "We can have no tolerance for individuals or organizations that violate our laws to line their pockets," New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said in a statement.

  • "I commend Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team for their successful prosecution of the Trump Organization, and I was proud to assist in this important case," James said.
  • "This verdict sends a clear message that no one, and no organization, is above our laws."

State of play: The tax fraud case is just one of the several legal matters involving the former president, who last month announced his bid for president in 2024.

  • Trump also faces an investigation by the Department of Justice over efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and his handling of classified documents.

Go deeper… Trump's own goal

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