Former president Donald Trump’s real estate company Trump Organization was convicted of carrying out a 15-year-long criminal scheme to defraud tax authorities, The Guardian reported.
The ruling has added to the legal woes facing the former president as he campaigns for the third time to run for office again in 2024.
Although Donald Trump was not personally on trial, prosecutors in the case brought by the Manhattan district attorney insisted he was fully aware of the long-running scheme in which they said executives were enriched by off-the-books perks to make up for lower salaries, reducing the company’s tax liabilities.
The Trump Organization operates hotels, golf courses, and other real estates around the world.
It was found guilty of paying personal expenses for top executives including former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, and issuing bonus checks to them as if they were independent contractors.
According to Reuters, the company faces up to $1.6 million in fines after being convicted on all charges, including scheming to defraud tax authorities, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. Trump was not charged in the case.
“This was a case about greed and cheating,” Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said in a statement celebrating the guilty verdict. “In Manhattan, no corporation is above the law.”
Trump, who recently launched his 2024 campaign, assailed the investigation as part of a politically motivated “witch hunt”.
The Trump Organization denounced the verdict in a written statement.
The verdict represents a serious blow to Trump and his family who rose to fame as property moguls in New York but whose business practices have long been shadowed in secrecy with rumors of ill-doing.
It is also the latest in a growing pile of legal troubles that surround Trump, including several investigations related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election result and his keeping of confidential, sensitive White House documents in his Florida residence after he left office.
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