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 December 10, 2022

New York Supreme Court finds Trump organization guilty of tax evasion

The New York Supreme Court found the Trump Organization and two of its executive guilty of tax evasion, the Washington Examiner reported. Though the company belongs to former President Donald Trump, he's not facing any charges.

Both the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corp., entities of the Trump Organization, were accused of 17 counts of wrongdoing. They were found guilty of all of them, including criminal tax fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy, and a scheme to defraud.

New York Attorney General Letitia James rejoiced over the ruling. "I commend Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team for their successful prosecution of the Trump Organization, and I was proud to assist in this important case," she claimed.

"This verdict sends a clear message that no one, and no organization, is above our laws," James said. Other entities under Trump, such as his hospitality, golf resort, and real estate divisions, could pay up to $1.6 million in fines.

The case centered around the former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney, the company's current comptroller. In August, Weisselberg pled guilty to 15 counts, including conspiracy, grand larceny, and tax fraud.

He was facing up to 15 years in jail but was given only five months in prison in exchange for testifying against the Trump Organization. McConney was a witness for the prosecution in the grand jury case and received immunity.

As the case was coming to a close, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office attempted to bring the former president into the scheme claiming he knew about the dealings of his executives. Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing and does not face any charges in this instance.

The former president has claimed the legal proceedings in New York are part of "a continuation of the Greatest Political Witch Hunt in the History of our Country," Fox Business News reported.

"New York City is a hard place to be a 'Trump,' as businesses and people flee our once Great City!" Trump said in a statement. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass claimed that "Mr. Trump is explicitly sanctioning tax fraud" in his closing arguments.

However, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization pointed out that Weisselburg testified to committing his crimes on his own behalf. "Mr. Weisselberg testified under oath that he 'betrayed' the trust the company had placed in him and that he, at all times, acted 'solely' for his 'own personal gain' and out of his 'own personal greed,'" the spokesperson said.

"The notion that a company could be held responsible for an employee's actions, to benefit themselves, on their own personal tax returns is simply preposterous." The spokesperson also said the whole case was "unprecedented and legally incorrect" and promised Trump's legal team would appeal.

However, even if these particular charges didn't stick, President Joe Biden's Justice Department is still investigating Trump. In August, the FBI raided the president's private Mar-a-Lago residence in a search for classified documents.

The investigation started at James' behest is also ongoing in a broad sweep to find wrongdoing. Her lawsuit alleged Trump lied about the value of his assets, including real estate, to lending institutions.

Trump has announced he will run again in 2024, which no doubt added urgency to efforts to pin anything they can on him. Trump may be found guilty of something somewhere, but until he is, it's hard to deny that these pursuits are yielding no fruit.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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