US Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme
21:06 GMT 06.12.2022 (Updated: 21:25 GMT 06.12.2022)
© ED JONESTraffic drives past the Trump Tower building in Manhattan, on July 1, 2021 in New York.
© ED JONES
A New York jury found the Trump Organization, a holding group for former US President Donald Trump's many business ventures, guilty of tax fraud on Tuesday.
The jury found the conglomerate guilty of a 15-year-long scheme by top executives to dodge paying personal income taxes on various job perks, including rent-free apartments and luxury cars. At the sentencing hearing in January, the company could be fined up to $1.6 million, and will bear the stain of the conviction on its reputation in future business dealings.
“This was a case about greed and cheating,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “The Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation got away with a scheme that awarded high-level executives with lavish perks and compensation while intentionally concealing the benefits from the taxing authorities to avoid paying taxes. Today’s verdict holds these Trump companies accountable for their long-running criminal scheme.”
The Trump Organization includes nearly 500 business entities owned by Trump.
The suit is one of several investigations of Trump and his finances that date to the time of his presidency. Unlike when he was chief executive, Trump no longer enjoys the immunity of the nation's top office, opening him up to a slew of lawsuits.
Other suits have alleged he misled lenders about the size of his wealth, or that he violated a clause banning emoluments in the US Constitution by allowing foreign dignitaries to rent rooms at Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
Trump has called the suits, as well as other investigations, such as an FBI probe of White House documents Trump took to his Mar-a-Lago estate when he left office, a "witch hunt" aimed at preventing him from returning to power in 2024. Trump announced his presidential campaign for the 2024 elections last month.