Trump Organization found guilty of tax evasion

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The Trump Organization found guilty tax evasion

Ex-president American Donald Trump (Archives)

Donald Trump's family business, the Trump Organization, was found guilty on Tuesday of financial and tax fraud after a trial in New York where the former Republican president was not judged.

This is the first time that the family group of the American billionaire, which includes golf clubs, luxury hotels and real estate properties, has been sentenced to criminal , Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

Even if he were not personally prosecuted and even if the sanction incurred by the group, a fine of 1.5 million US dollars, is relatively small compared to its size, it is of a legal setback for the former president (2017-2021), now officially a candidate for the Republican nomination for 2024.

Donald Trump enters this race from a worse position than he hoped, weakened by the disappointing results for the Republicans he supported in the midterm elections, while one of his potential rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, was triumphantly re-elected.

The Manhattan court jury, which retired Monday to deliberate after more than A month of hearings found the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation guilty on all counts, 17 in total, added prosecutor Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat.

< p class="e-p">The sentence should be pronounced on January 13, 2023, added his services.

The two companies were tried for tax evasion and for falsifying accounting statements, in particular with the aim of hiding from the services financial compensation of certain senior executives, in particular its former financial director, Allen Weisselberg, who had pleaded guilty.

< p>“For 13 years, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation have evaded the law by awarding high-ranking executives lavish benefits and compensation while intentionally concealing these benefits from tax authorities to avoid paying taxes.

—Attorney Alvin Bragg

Mr. Bragg also referred to a case of greed and cheating.

As soon as the trial opened at the end of October, Donald Trump had denounced a witch hunt led by the Democrats, even if he was not personally targeted by this trial.

We disagree with this verdict [and] we will appeal, reacted in a statement sent to AFP a lawyer from the Trump Organization, Susan Necheles.

Mr. Weisselberg testified that he had "betrayed" the trust society had placed in him and that he had at all times acted "only" for his "personal gain" and by "personal greed", also argued a spokesperson for the organization.

Close to Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg had pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax evasion and evasion charge involving US$1.76 million in unreported income between 2005 and 2021.

This septuagenarian, who testified at the trial, admitted to having benefited from undeclared benefits in kind: an apartment in an upscale Manhattan neighborhood, the rental of two Mercedes for him and his wife as well as money cash for his vacation.

Donald Trump is the subject of several legal proceedings, but he is not currently the subject of any charges.

Three days after declaring his candidacy for 2024, in mid-November, Justice Secretary Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a special prosecutor, Jack Smith, to take over two ongoing US justice investigations. : one on the efforts of the former tenant of the White House to change the results of the presidential election of 2020, the other on the management of the presidential archives.

From October 2023, Donald Trump will also appear in New York, in civil this time, with three of his children, accused like them of fraudulent tax practices within the Trump Organization.< /p>

In this case, New York State Attorney General Letitia James accuses the Republican billionaire and his children of deliberately manipulating the valuations of the assets of the group to obtain more advantageous loans from banks or to reduce taxes.

She is seeking $250 million in damages on behalf of the state as well as corporate bans for the former president and those close to him.

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