This was the brazen tax evasion scheme of the Trump Organization

Trump Organization

The Trump Organization, the business empire of former US President Donald Trump, was fined $1.6 million on Friday for tax fraud and other crimes committed as part of a multi-year scheme to help some of its top executives avoid paying taxes on their wages. 

The Trump Corp, and The Trump Payroll Corp, two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization, were both sentenced to the maximum fines possible under New York law. The Trump Organization has denied any wrongdoing and is planning to appeal the verdict. 

The subsidiaries were found guilty of 17 counts, including tax fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy, as part of what prosecutors have called a “bold and far-reaching” scheme to pay executives “without record keeping.” of this” or “off the books”. The verdict by a New York jury was the first criminal conviction of its kind against Trump’s companies. 

One of these executives was former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Wwisselber, who admitted guilt to tax fraud last summer and agreed to cooperate with authorities against his former employer. 

The Manhattan district attorney’s office accused Weisselberg of receiving more than $1.7 million in unreported payments over more than a decade. This compensation came in the form of rent payments or luxury apartments, home furnishings, Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, garage expenses, and tuition payments at private schools for his grandchildren, the officials said. prosecutors. 

Prosecutors and Trump Organization lawyers gathered in Manhattan Criminal Court to receive the verdict in New York City on January 13, 2023. 

Weisselberg and the Trump companies “led and profited from a far-reaching system of fraud for more than a decade,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a post-sentencing statement Friday morning. 

“While corporations cannot serve jail time, this sentence and ruling serves as a reminder to corporations and their executives that they cannot defraud authorities on paying taxes and get away with it. It is also an important reminder that our state law must change so that we can impose more significant penalties and sanctions on corporations that commit crimes in New York,” Bragg said. 

The district attorney added that his office’s investigation into Trump and his dealings remains ongoing. 

In a statement after the sentencing, New York Attorney General Letitia James said this “proves, once again, that no one is above the law, not even Donald Trump or his businesses.” 

James’ office is conducting a civil investigation into Trump, his family and his businesses in light of allegations of widespread financial fraud. James has filed a broad civil lawsuit against these parties and others, seeking at least $250 million in damages. 

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