Trump Org convicted of criminal tax fraud

Jury finds former president’s company guilty on all nine counts

Allen Weisselberg, Donald Trump (Getty)
Allen Weisselberg, Donald Trump (Getty)

A jury on Tuesday found affiliate companies of the Trump Organization guilty of nine counts of tax fraud and related crimes.

The two companies were convicted on all counts after a six-week trial, Daily Beast reported. The case alleged the Trump Organization avoided taxes through various means, including providing benefits for executives in place of taxable salaries and paying employees as “independent contractors.”

Among the perks the Trump Organization allegedly doled out were private school tuition, a lease on a Mercedes for former CFO Allen Weisselberg and covering the rent of his Manhattan apartment.

The Trump Organization is expected to face more than $1 million in penalties.

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The guilty verdict is the first legal defeat in recent years for Donald Trump, who was impeached twice during his presidency but avoided conviction. The former president remains under a cloud of criminal and civil investigations.

Lawyers for the Trump Organization had told the jury that any tax fraud should be pinned on Weisselberg, whom they called a rogue employee. The former CFO pleaded guilty to 15 felonies in August.

As a result of his guilty plea, Weisselberg reportedly faces five months in prison, rather than the 15 he faced if his case went to trial.

— Holden Walter-Warner