Tax fraud: heavy fine of 1.6 million for the Trump Organization

He was implicated in connection with the attack by his supporters on the headquarters of Congress on January 6, 2021. But also because of his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump is now indirectly condemned in a tax evasion case.

The former US president’s family business, the Trump Organization, was sentenced in New York on Friday to a maximum fine of $1.6 million for financial and tax fraud. A criminal first for the group, which awaits an even larger civil trial in 2023.

Benefits in kind pointed out

The group of the American billionaire, candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for the presidential election of 2024, was tried for tax evasion and falsification of accounting declarations, in particular with the aim of hiding financial compensation from certain senior leaders from the tax services.

“Today, former President Trump’s businesses were fined the maximum fines allowed by law after historic convictions for a total of 17 misdemeanor felonies,” prosecutor Alvin Bragg said in a statement. In concrete terms, the Trump Organization, which brings together golf clubs, luxury hotels and real estate properties, was accused of having granted financial or in-kind benefits to senior leaders, concealing them from the tax authorities to avoid paying taxes. , from 2005 to 2018.

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Among them, a former historic financial director of the company, Allen Weisselberg, long very close to Donald Trump, who pleaded guilty to 15 charges and was sentenced Tuesday in the same case to five months in prison and more than two million dollar fine. At the announcement of his sentence, Allen Weisselberg, 75, who had started working in 1973 as an accountant for the father of Donald Trump, left handcuffed in the direction of the prison of Rikers Island to serve his sentence.

A luxury apartment in Manhattan for free

He was accused of benefiting from the free rental of a luxury apartment in Manhattan, the provision of Mercedes cars or the payment of private school tuition for his grandchildren, approximately 1, $76 million in unreported income for years.

The Trump Organization had announced on December 6, when his guilt was announced, via one of his lawyers, Susan Necheles, that it would appeal, while seeking to blame Allen Weisselberg, assuring that he had himself “declared under oath (to have) betrayed the trust (of) the company”.

A “witch hunt” according to Trump

Donald Trump, who has denounced a “witch hunt” several times, was not personally targeted in this trial and he is not charged in any legal case at this stage, but he sees the files accumulating in court so that he addresses the 2024 Republican Party nomination race.

If he is not criminally charged, the billionaire must however appear in civil court in New York, with three of his children, Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka, accused like them of fraudulent tax practices within the Trump Organization.

In this case, New York State Attorney General Letitia James accuses the Trump family of having “deliberately” manipulated the valuations of the group’s assets to obtain more advantageous loans from banks or reduce its taxes. She claims 250 million dollars in damages on behalf of the state, as well as prohibitions to run companies for the ex-president and his relatives.

(With AFP)

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