Two Trump Organization companies were convicted of criminal fraud on all counts by a jury at the New York Supreme Court Tuesday.
The jury in the case, People v. Trump Corporation, returned a guilty verdict on all charges of fraud, including conspiracy and falsifying records. The charges stem from investigations by the New York Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into allegations that the Trump Organization defrauded the government by helping Chief Financial Officer Allan Weisselberg and other executives avoid taxes, through undeclared compensation in the form of free rent on a housing unit, car leases, utility payments and school fees for his grandchildren. (RELATED: Treasury Department Gives Trump’s Tax Returns To House Committee)
Both the Trump Organization, through its subsidiary Trump Payroll Corporation, and Weisselberg falsified records to hide the compensation, per prosecutors’ arguments.
Journalist David Cay Johnston says the indictment of the Trump Organization lays out “a calculated scheme” to commit tax fraud. “Donald Trump, while not named in the indictment, is all over the document in terms of actions he had to take.” https://t.co/udzCqC0EDv pic.twitter.com/3B6OSSIBuB
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) July 2, 2021
Weisselberg had previously pled guilty to 15 individual criminal charges against him in the case and struck a plea deal with prosecutors, maintaining that Trump was not personally involved in his scheme.
The guilty verdict comes after a long legal battle between New York state and Trump, who left the state in 2019 during his presidential term and established residency in Florida, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. Trump, calling the investigation a “witch hunt” against him for political reasons, had initially refused to provide either subpoenaed documents or personal testimony in the civil case relating to the charges and only did so after exhausting all appeals to a court order to do so.
He was initially held in contempt of court for non-compliance and later pled the 5th Amendment nearly 400 times in his deposition on Aug. 10.
Trump himself was not on trial in the case and has not been found personally guilty of any criminal offense. Acting Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the case, reminded jurors that Trump was personally not on trial, per CBS News.
Trump is currently facing other legal jeopardy, such as a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice for possession of highly classified information as a private citizen, which led to a controversial FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago in August.
Trump’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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