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Former President Donald Trump Organization Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

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Former President Donald Trump's Company Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

(CTN NEWS) – In a striking rebuke of the former president’s business practices, Trump Organization was found guilty of tax evasion on Tuesday for assisting executives in avoiding paying taxes on luxurious benefits, including Manhattan residences and expensive cars.

A jury found two corporate organizations affiliated with the Trump Organization guilty on all 17 counts, including conspiracy and falsifying financial documents.

Donald Trump was not being tried personally. On the second day of discussions, the decision was reached.

The conviction is a recognition of the three-year investigation by New York prosecutors into the former president and his businesses.

The verdict, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, “underscores that in Manhattan, we own a level of morality for all.”

Former President Donald Trump Organization Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg smiles outside the courtroom after the jury found the Trump Organization guilty on all counts in a criminal tax fraud case this afternoon. Photograph: Julia Nikhinson/AP

The Trump Organization faces a maximum fine of $1.6 million, a modest sum for a business of its size, though the conviction may hamper some of its future business transactions.

Trump, who only just declared his candidacy for president once more, claimed the prosecution against his company resulted from a “witch hunt” with political overtones.

Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump Organization, promised to appeal while speaking outside the courtroom.

The decision worsens Trump’s already serious legal problems.

He is now under criminal investigation in Washington for keeping top-secret information at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, and is also fighting to have the results of the 2020 election overturned.

A recently appointed Justice Department special counsel is in charge of the investigations. The district attorney in Fulton County is also looking into attempts by Trump and his friends to have his Georgia victory overturned.

Even though Trump himself was not prosecuted, the decision represents yet another setback for the former president.

Who has encountered several problems caused by his actions since announcing his third bid for the presidency last month?

Former President Donald Trump Organization Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

Former President Donald Trump departs Trump Tower, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in New York, on his way to the New York attorney general’s office for a deposition in a civil investigation. Donald Trump’s company on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

That includes resentment over his dinner with an anti-Semitic rapper formerly known as Kanye West and a Holocaust denier, as well as his authoritarian call for the “termination of all rules, regulations.

And articles, even those found in the Constitution,” to address his flimsy allegations of widespread election fraud.

Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former finance director, testified extensively in the Manhattan district attorney’s case against the business.

Weisselberg previously pleaded guilty to charges that he had manipulated the company’s books and his compensation package to improperly reduce his taxes.

Weisselberg agreed to testify in exchange for a guaranteed five-month jail sentence.

Former President Donald Trump Organization Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

Trump Organization’s former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg arrives at the courtroom in New York Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Donald Trump’s company was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Prosecutors had to persuade jurors that Weisselberg or his subordinate, Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney, were “high management” agents acting on behalf of the firm.

And that the corporation also benefited from his fraud in order to convict the Trump Organization.

Throughout the month-long trial, the Trump Organization’s attorneys kept repeating the phrase “Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg.”

They argued that the executive had turned against the corporation and betrayed its confidence. They claimed that no one in the Trump family or the business was at fault.

Susan Necheles, a corporate lawyer, reiterated that claim following the verdict on Tuesday.

“Why would an organization whose owner was unaware of Allen Weisselberg’s tax filings be legally charged for Weisselberg’s private actions, over which they had no control or knowledge?

This case was unusual and unfounded in law,” she argued.

Weisselberg attempted to assume blame on the witness stand even though he was testifying for the prosecution, claiming that no one in the Trump family understood what he was doing.

Weisselberg testified, visibly upset, saying, “It was my selfishness that led to this.”

Although he and the company’s attorneys have disputed it, Manhattan prosecutors claimed the former president “knew exactly what was going on” with the scam.

Former President Donald Trump Organization Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, right, leaves the courtroom during jury deliberation in the Trump Organization’s tax fraud case, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Weisselberg stated that he and McConney planned to conceal that additional compensation from his income by deducting their cost from his pre-tax salary and issuing forged W-2 forms.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to evading taxes on $1.7 million in fringe benefits.

During his closing remarks, Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass tried to disprove the assertion that Trump was unaware of the conspiracy.

A lease that Trump signed for Weisselberg’s rent-free apartment and a statement that Trump initialed approving a pay drop for another employee who received benefits were both displayed before the jury.

Steinglass asserted that “Mr. Trump is endorsing tax fraud.”

Former President Donald Trump's Company Convicted Of Criminal Tax Fraud

Trump’s conflict with Bragg, a Democrat who took office in January, is not resolved by the ruling.

A related investigation of the former president, which was started under the previous district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., has been described as “active and ongoing” by the attorney general.

Investigators have looked into whether Trump deceived banks and others about the value of his real estate holdings, golf courses, and other assets as part of that extensive investigation.

These allegations are at the center of a current lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the former president and his company.

When Trump’s allies paid two women who allegedly had sex with the Republican years ago, the district attorney’s office looked into whether any state laws had been breached.

Vance instructed deputies to bring evidence to a grand jury for a potential indictment of Trump near the end of his tenure last year.

But soon after taking office, Bragg allowed that grand jury to disband so he could reexamine the situation.

On Monday, he reiterated that the probe was still ongoing by confirming that a new lead prosecutor had been appointed.

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