WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Former President Donald Trump vowed to appeal his organization’s tax fraud conviction.
- A Manhattan jury on Tuesday found the Trump Organization criminally liable for its executives’ tax fraud.
- In a statement, Trump’s office said New York City has become “a hard place to be ‘Trump.'”
Former President Donald Trump has vowed to appeal his organization’s tax fraud conviction on Tuesday by a Manhattan jury. In a statement, Trump’s office said that New York City has become “a hard place to be ‘Trump.'”
The Trump Organization, which could face a $1.6 million fine, is set to be sentenced on January 13.
Two corporate entities at the Trump Organization were found guilty on all 17 counts — including tax fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy and related crimes. The verdict was fast after just 10 hours of deliberations over two days, and capping a total six-week trial in the Manhattan Supreme Court.
The verdict was a fast and decisive one, following just 10 hours of deliberations over two days, and capping a total six-week trial.
A statement titled “Manhattan Witch Hunt!” was posted to Truth Social shortly after the verdict. Trump said that he was “disappointed” by the result, insisting that Trump Org was the victim of a “political witch hunt.”
Trump himself was not charged in the case, despite prosecutors saying that he “knew exactly what was going on” and had taken part in activities that were “explicitly sanctioning tax fraud,” the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors focused on the Trump Org’s scheme to defraud tax officials by helping top executives skirt paying taxes by compensating them with off-the-books benefits like luxury cars and apartments.
In August, former Trump Org Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts related to conspiring with the organization to avoid paying his personal taxes. Weisselberg was a key witness during the trial. According to reports, he agreed to a guilty plea in exchange for a five-month jail sentence.
Trump denied any knowledge about Weisselberg’s crimes.
“Disappointed with the verdict in Manhattan, but will appeal,” Trump wrote. “This case was about Allen Weisselberg committing tax fraud on his personal tax returns, etc., with he and every witness repeatedly testifying that President Trump and the Trump Family knew nothing about his actions, which he admits were done solely for his own benefit, and with no benefit to the two companies.”
Trump added that the verdict “is a continuation of the Greatest Political Witch Hunt in the History of our Country. New York City is a hard place to be ‘Trump,’ as businesses and people flee our once Great City!”
New York Attorney General Letitia James had a separate $250 million civil suit against Trump that she filed in September. James accused the former president of tax fraud and misrepresentation of company assets.
“Today’s guilty verdict against the Trump Organization shows that we will hold individuals and organizations accountable when they violate our laws to line their pockets,” she tweeted after the verdict was out.