Donald Trump: The US judiciary condemns the former president’s foundation for tax crimes
- Max Mazz
- BBC News
A US court has convicted the real estate foundation of former US President Donald Trump and his family for tax crimes.
After a two-day hearing in the New York court, a jury found the company guilty of all charges brought by the prosecution.
A separate foundation bears Trump’s name, but the former president and all his family members were not personally prosecuted in the case.
Trump, who has vowed to appeal the verdict, said he was disappointed with the verdict, describing the case as political targeting and closer to dissident-hunting campaigns known as “witch-hunts,” borrowing from the tradition that emerged in the Middle Ages are.
The company was found guilty of providing financial benefits and illegal benefits to its directors for more than a decade.
These included paying children’s education expenses and providing luxury cars, all of which prosecutors say helped illegally reduce taxes paid by the facility.
The court is expected to impose a financial penalty on the institution, which can reach up to $1.6 million, and this may result in the institution struggling to obtain loans, credit, or financing in the future.
Trump had described the process as “politicized” and attacked his longtime account manager Allen Weisselberg for pleading guilty to testifying against the foundation.
However, the institution’s defense team confirmed that they are in the process of appealing the verdict.
Prosecutors accused the company of “adopting a culture of corruption and deceit” during court hearings and said it operated a system that allowed some managers “to control the level of their income” and therefore the level of taxes they paid they should pay to reduce. becoming much less than they should have paid”.
Two Trump Organization supporters have been found guilty of all 17 counts of tax evasion and falsifying records.
For his part, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg praised the verdict, saying the case was one of “greed and fraud.”
He added, “For 13 years, the Trump Company and Trump Accounts have circumvented the law through a system that allows high-paid executives to enjoy exorbitant benefits and compensation with the ability to intentionally hide them from tax authorities.”
Weisberg, 75, testified against the foundation as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that reduced his sentence to no more than five months in prison.
Weisberg is sent to the notorious Rikers Island prison and has to pay the state more than $1.7 million for his hidden earnings.
After the verdict was announced, the court announced that enforcement of the verdict would begin on the 13th of next month.
Trump and three of his children are facing separate civil lawsuits filed by New York City prosecutors that could result in rulings barring them from doing business in the state.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the civil trial against Trump and his children, issued a statement calling the verdict a “major victory.”
“The ruling makes it clear that we will hold individuals and institutions accountable when they break our laws to line their own pockets,” she said.
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