New York – for years, donald trump His real estate empire, which had skyrocketed from reality TV star to the White House, offered some of his executives great perks, including apartments and luxury cars.
Now Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, I am on trial for tax fraud. — What the prosecutor says was a 15-year plan by his most trusted lieutenant to avoid paying taxes on these fringe benefits.
In opening statements on Monday, prosecutors and defense counsel sparred over the company’s liability for the actions of Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty and agreed to testify as a star prosecution witness in exchange for a five-month prison sentence.
Later, another Trump Organization executive, senior vice president and administrator, Jeffrey McConey, reviewed financial records, including Weisselberg’s payroll forms and ledger entries showing that the company paid for Weisselberg’s car lease. I investigated and explained to the prosecutor. He will resume his testimony on Tuesday.
McConey, who prosecutors allege helped Weisselberg by misreporting his earnings to tax authorities, testified before a grand jury last year and was given immunity to testify again in a criminal trial. said he has attended grand juries eight times on various Trump-related issues.
The tax evasion case is the only criminal trial to emerge from the Manhattan District Attorney’s three-year investigation of the former president and one of three ongoing cases involving Trump or the company in New York courts.
Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger argued in her opening statement that the Trump Organization was responsible through its subsidiaries, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation. Company and its various entities.
The company benefited because it didn’t have to pay Weisselberg and at least two other executives who received equal benefits in salaries and bonuses, she said.
Hoffinger said the company also cut costs in paying out Christmas bonuses by paying executives as independent contractors through subsidiaries such as golf courses and ice rinks it manages in Central Park. was saved.
“This lawsuit is about greed and cheating and misappropriating tax dollars,” Hoffinger told jurors.
Attorney for the Trump Organization, Michael van der Wien, countered that Weisselberg had become corrupt and betrayed the trust of the company. and lied to the company about what he had done, van der Wien said.
“This lawsuit is about personal greed and the abuse of trust required to feed that greed. .
“Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg,” he said.
Weisselberg pleaded guilty to receiving $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation. His Manhattan apartment, Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, and his grandson’s school tuition were all paid for by the company. Executives at the organization also received off-the-books compensation, he said.
When they say The Trump Company, “What they really mean is that Allen Weisselberg did something illegal with the intention of benefiting Allen Weisselberg, his friends, or his son. That’s what they did,” another company attorney, Susan Necheres, told the jury.
If convicted, the Trump Organization could face fines of more than $1 million and face difficulty securing new loans and deals. Institutions may seek to sever ties with the company. It may also interfere with your ability to do business with the U.S. Secret Service. Occasionally pay accommodation and service charges to the company While keeping Trump as former president.
Neither Mr. Trump nor his children, who have worked as executives for the Trump Organization, have been indicted or accused of wrongdoing. Trump signed several checks at the center of the case, but Nekeles said the evidence showed he knew nothing about the plot.
The Trump Organization is the organization through which Trump manages many businesses, including investments in golf courses, luxury towers and other real estate, many marketing deals, and television pursuits.
Prosecutors say they plan to call 15 witnesses, including Weisselberg, McConney and other Trump organization officials. Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said he expects the trial to take at least four weeks.
Criminal lawsuits aside, Trump and the Trump Organization are defendants. Lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia Jameshe alleges that Trump and company have inflated his net worth by billions of dollars and have misled banks and others over the years about the value of various assets.
In that case the inquiry scheduled for thursday.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, jury selection was scheduled to begin on Monday. Protesters say they were vandalized By a security guard outside Trump Tower. The former president filed a deposition on the matter last year.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
https://www.ksat.com/news/politics/2022/10/31/trump-organization-faces-criminal-tax-fraud-trial-over-perks/ Trump Organization faces criminal tax fraud trial over perks