Two Trump Organization companies were found guilty of more than a dozen criminal tax fraud charges and could face a $1.6 million fine.
Following two days of deliberation, the jury found two corporate entities with Trump Organization guilty on all 17 counts, including falsifying business records and conspiracy charges.
Tuesday’s verdict follows a lengthy trial based on the accusation the Trump Organization was complicit in a scheme top executives employed to circumvent their tax obligations on perks like luxury cars and rent-free apartments.
The case brought against the Trump Organization by the Manhattan District Attorney concludes one of the latest investigations New York prosecutors have conducted against former President Donald Trump’s company.
Although the former President wasn’t charged in this case, he has described the case as part of a “witch hunt” carried about by vindictive Democrats whose purposes are politically motivated.
New York prosecutors built most of the case on the testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the former finance chief of the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg had pleaded guilty to manipulating the company’s books and his compensation package at the company to reduce his — and the company’s — tax liability.
The former Trump Organization finance chief gave his testimony in the case in exchange for a five-month prison term.
To secure a guilty verdict for the Trump Organization, prosecutors had to prove to the jury that Weisselberg and a subordinate — Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney — acted as “high managerial” agents on the company’s behalf when they carried out the scheme. They also had to prove that the Trump Organization benefited from the scheme.
While testifying on the prosecution’s behalf, Weisselberg also asserted that no one in the Trump family knew about the scheme. However, prosecutors allege Trump “knew exactly what was going on,” something Trump’s attorneys deny.