New York City Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty on All Counts in Tax Fraud Case

A New York City jury has found the Trump Organization guilty on all counts in the tax fraud case against the company.

President Donald Trump and his family were not on trial and have no criminal liability from the verdict.

No members of the Trump family had any knowledge of the scheme linked to the company’s executives.

However, the case was likely politically motivated and the verdict may embolden other New York prosecutors to go after him.

Daily Beast reporter Jose Pagliery was in the courtroom and offered a blow-by-blow of what happened:

A jury ruled that two entities underneath the Trump Organization umbrella schemed to evade taxes by paying a number of its top executives through gifts and perks that were deducted from their paychecks, according to The New York Times.

The gifts, which included items like luxury cars and apartment leases, were used to evade a stiffer tax penalty on income.

Prosecutors faced off against the Trump Organization in court proceedings that began in late October.

Prosecutors argued that the company was complicit in a years-long tax evasion scheme involving multiple top executives, according to the Associated Press.

Trump weighed in after the verdict was announced, blaming his company’s former finance chief and calling the prosecution a “continuation of the Greatest Political Witch Hunt in the History of our Country.”

He said his company would appeal the decision in the “unprecedented” case.

“This case is about Allen Weisselberg committing tax fraud on his personal tax returns, etc., with he and every witness repeatedly testifying that President Trump and the Trump Family knew nothing about his actions, which he admits were done solely for his own benefit, and with no benefit to the two companies,” Trump said.

The trial was against two Trump Organization entities: the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation.

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The former was charged with nine counts, the latter with eight.

The entities were represented by separate legal teams, and both were convicted on all counts.

The defense teams pinned the blame for a string of tax-free gifts awarded to some executives on Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to charges of tax fraud, grand larceny, and others in August, forcing the company to overhaul its defense after Weisselberg agreed to testify for the prosecution.

“We are here today because of one reason, and one reason only: The greed of Allen Weisselberg,” Trump Organization attorney Susan Necheles told the jury last week during closing arguments, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass argued for the prosecution that executives at the Trump Organization “cultivated a culture of fraud and deception.”

He showed jurors a lease for Weisselberg’s apartment that was covered by the company.

Steinglass also presented a company memo that authorized pay cuts for executives that received non-monetary gifts.

“It’s not that the folks at the Trump Organization didn’t know what they were doing was illegal,” Steinglass said.

“It was that they didn’t care.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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