The Trump Organization, a group of about 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner, on Tuesday was convicted by a NY Jury of eight men and four women on all 17 charges, including tax fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy, and related crimes.
The convictions followed more than a day of jury deliberations in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The verdict involved Trump’s group’s practice of giving executives perks off-the-books: luxury apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, cash gifts, and free cable, for which the lucky executives did not pay taxes.
The prosecution did not charge former President Donald Trump himself, but used his name frequently during the month-long trial, and told the jury he personally approved the tax evasions and paid for some of the perks.
On July 1, 2021, the Manhattan district attorney charged the Trump Organization with a 15-year scheme to defraud the government, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. Ten criminal charges were filed against the organization and the Trump Payroll Corporation entity, and 15 counts against Allen Weisselberg, the company’s longtime chief financial officer, including grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg received some $1.76 million in undeclared perks like free rent and utilities, car leases for his wife and himself, and school tuition for their grandchildren.
Trump posted on Truth Social ahead of the verdict that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had a vendetta against him: “Murder and Violent Crime is at an all-time high in NYC, and the DA’s office has spent almost all of its time & money fighting a political Witch Hunt for D.C. against ‘Trump’ over Fringe Benefits,” Trump complained, and suggested “no MURDER CASE has gone to trial in 6 years, much to the consternation of victims mothers and families who are devastated that NOTHING is being done to bring JUSTICE. Too busy on ‘Donald.’”
Trump Organization attorney Susan Necheles said she and her clients plan to appeal the verdict.