Trump Organization convicted in executive tax dodge scheme

Trump Organization convicted in executive tax dodge scheme

NEW YORK – Jurors deliberated Tuesday on criminal tax fraud charges against Donald Trump ‘s business. They zeroed in on the final count on the verdict sheet, falsifying business records.

The charge alleges that longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg ordered an underling to make changes to Trump’s personal financial records just as he was closing in on his presidential election victory in 2016.

The jury is in its second day of deliberating charges that the company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars.

Jurors received notes twice Tuesday seeking clarification on the falsifying business records and related testimony.

Weisselberg testified that he ordered accounts payable supervisor Deborah Tarasoff to delete “Per Allen Weisselberg” notations from entries in Trump’s personal general ledger reflecting that Trump personally paid private school tuition for Weisselberg’s grandchildren.

First jurors asked the judge for a reread of the charge and the elements that they must find guilty. Later, they requested Tarasoff’s testimony to be heard again.

Tarasoff, a Trump Organization veteran, testified that Weisselberg called her into his office and told her, “Go in and take my name off it” in September 2016.

Tarasoff said she didn’t recall ever being asked to make changes to other ledger entries, but that she wasn’t concerned she may have been tampering with records.

Weisselberg testified that he told Tarasoff to make the deletions because “I didn’t want my grandchildren’s names to be in there.”

” He said that he wanted them to have privacy.

Prosecutors charged the Trump Organization in the form of two subsidiaries, Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation. Trump Corporation is facing nine charges. Eight counts are filed against Trump Payroll Corporation.

After resuming deliberations on Tuesday, jurors wrote a note asking for the judge to read three counts of falsifying records business pertaining to the creation false W-2 tax forms by Weisselberg for 2015, 2016 as well as 2017.. The trial lasted a month and featured seven witnesses, including Jeffrey McConney, Senior Vice President and Controller. A witness from outside who prepared tax returns for Trump’s company for years also testified. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours Monday.

Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to dodging taxes on $1.7 million in extras, testified that he and McConney conspired to hide extras from his income by deducting their cost from his pre-tax salary and issuing falsified W-2 forms.

Jurors will decide if Weisselberg acted on behalf of the company, as prosecutors claim, or if he was acting solely in his own interests, as the Trump Organization lawyers assert. They must also decide if Weisselberg intended to benefit the company’s bottom lines, and not his own.

Weisselberg testified against the company in exchange for a promised five-month jail sentence. Other executives were also accused, but they were not charged.

Trump Organization lawyers claim that Weisselberg acted alone, without Trump and the Trump family’s knowledge. The company denies any wrongdoing.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass attempted to refute that claim during his closing argument last week, showing jurors a lease Trump signed for Weisselberg’s company-paid apartment and a memo Trump initialed authorizing a pay cut for another executive who got perks.

Trump has not been charged. The Trump Organization case is only one that has resulted from the Manhattan district attorney’s three-year investigation into Trump and his business practices.

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