A criminal court jury in New York on Tuesday found the Trump Organization guilty of all charges in a sweeping, 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company.
Jurors deliberated for just over a day before returning the guilty verdicts.
After the verdict Tuesday, Trump said an appeal is coming.
“Disappointed with the verdict in Manhattan, but will appeal. After looking at millions of pages of documents, over many years, much to the detriment of record setting murder and other forms of violent crime that are taking place in New York City, the Government was able to get an employee to “plea” in order for a very reduced sentence,” Trump said Tuesday in a statement.
“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.
“Why would Corporations, which knew nothing about Weisselberg’s personal tax returns, be prosecuted for that person’s conduct? There was RELIANCE by us on a then highly respected and expensive accounting firm, and law firm, to do this work. The accounting firm also did his personal returns, which we are not even allowed to legally view.
“This case is unprecedented and involved no monetary gain to these two Corporations. It 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!” Trump concluded.
The charges stem from investigations by the New York Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into allegations that the Trump Organization defrauded the government by helping Chief Financial Officer Allan Weisselberg and other executives avoid taxes, through undeclared compensation in the form of free rent on a housing unit, car leases, utility payments and school fees for his grandchildren.
Weisselberg had previously pled guilty to 15 individual criminal charges against him in the case and struck a plea deal with prosecutors, maintaining that Trump was not personally involved in his scheme.
The guilty verdict comes after a long legal battle between New York state and Trump, who left the state in 2019 during his presidential term and established residency in Florida, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.
Trump, calling the investigation a “witch hunt” against him for political reasons, had initially refused to provide either subpoenaed documents or personal testimony in the civil case relating to the charges and only did so after exhausting all appeals to a court order to do so.
He was initially held in contempt of court for non-compliance and later pled the 5th Amendment nearly 400 times in his deposition on Aug. 10.
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