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Trump Organization convicted in tax fraud scheme

Two Trump businesses were found guilty on 17 counts

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaking during a news conference in New York.

This photo shows Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaking during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in New York.

NYC Office of the Mayor via Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump’s company was found guilty of multiple criminal charges related to a tax fraud scheme that lasted 15 years, according to CNN.

The jury in Manhattan found Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. guilty on all 17 charges. The businesses face a maximum penalty of $1.6 million, with sentencing due on Jan. 13.

The companies wrote off luxury perks that were offered to a select few executives, like Allen H. Weisselberg, who The New York Times referred to as the architect of the long-running scheme, and didn’t pay taxes on the money spent.

The benefits came packaged as fancy apartments, luxury cars and private school tuition.

“This was a case about lying and cheating, false documents to the aid of evading taxes for the benefit of individuals and the corporation,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said after the verdict was delivered, per NPR.

Meanwhile, the Trump Organization will appeal the jury’s decision, said defense attorney Alan Futerfas, per Politico.

“We’ll certainly be appealing, of course,” he said in a press briefing, per the report. Their rebuttal to the allegations is that the crimes were not committed “in behalf of” the firm, which is a gray area in case law.

“We filed a lot of papers, the defense team, about what those words mean,” he said. “The judge recognized that there was not a lot of definition on that at all, and certainly that will be one of the arguments we will make. And it was central to the case.”

The trial began in late October and featured testimony from Weisselberg, the then-chief financial officer and an employee of the Trump family.

He was the only person charged by the Manhattan DA’s office, pleading guilty to 15 felony charges, according to CNBC. He will serve five months in jail as a part of his plea deal.

Trump and his family weren’t charged in the case but, as CNN reported, the former president was brought up on multiple occasions amid the trial proceedings.

The companies will continue to exist as New York law does not require any dismantling.