Trump, Donald Trump’s family business, was found guilty on Tuesday of financial and tax fraud after a trial in New York where the former Republican president was not tried.
Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg said in a statement that this is the first time that the American billionaire’s group, which includes golf clubs, luxury hotels and real estate, has been sentenced to criminal law.
Even if he is not personally sued, and if the penalty is imposed, a fine of $ 1.5 million, which is relatively small compared to the size of the Trump Organization, this is a legal setback for the former president (2017-2021), now officially. Candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Donald Trump enters this race from a worse position than he had hoped, weakened by the disappointing results of the Republicans he supported in the midterm elections, while one of his potential rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has been victoriously re-elected.
Attorney General Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, added that the Manhattan court jury, which retired Monday to deliberate after more than a month of hearings, “found Trump Inc. and Trump Payroll guilty on all counts.”
His services added that the verdict is expected on January 13, 2023.
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The two companies were on trial for tax evasion and falsification of accounting data, in particular with the aim of concealing financial compensation for tax services from some of its senior executives, notably former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty and testified at the trial. .
“For 13 years, Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation have evaded the law by providing high-ranking executives with generous benefits and compensation, while knowingly concealing these benefits from tax authorities to avoid paying taxes,” Bragg added. “The case of greed and fraud.”
In a “witch-hunt” press release, Donald Trump derided a judicial system that “examined millions of pages of documents, for many years, while murders and violent crime reached record levels in New York.”
“We disagree with this ruling (and will) appeal,” said a statement sent to AFP by the Trump Organization’s attorney, Susan Nickellis.
“Mr. Weisselberg declared under oath that he had + betrayed + the trust society had placed in him and that, at all times, he had acted + solely for his + personal gain and out of + personal greed,” the door argued. The word of the organization.
Close to Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax fraud and tax evasion involving $1.76 million in undisclosed income between 2005 and 2021.
Mercedes and cash
This septuagenarian, who testified at the trial, admitted that he received undisclosed benefits in kind: an apartment in an upscale Manhattan neighborhood, renting two Mercedes cars for himself and his wife, or cash for his vacation.
Donald Trump is undergoing several legal proceedings, but has not yet been charged.
Three days after announcing his 2024 candidacy, in mid-November, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a special prosecutor, Jack Smith, to take over two ongoing investigations by U.S. Justice: one about the efforts of a former tenant. From the White House to change the results of the 2020 presidential election, and the other on managing the presidential archives.
From October 2023, Donald Trump will also appear in New York, this time in a civil form, with three of his children, who like them are accused of fraudulent tax practices within the Trump Organization.
In the case, New York State Attorney General Letitia James accuses the Republican billionaire and his children of “deliberately” manipulating the valuation of the group’s assets to obtain better loans from banks or lower their taxes.
It is seeking $250 million in damages on behalf of the state, as well as a ban on corporate governance for the former president and his associates.