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Trump Organization and CFO Charged with Tax Fraud
Weisselberg has worked for the organization since the early seventies. He has been praised by the former president for his loyalty on numerous occasions. The CFO has even helped with Trump's tax returns for more than twenty years.
Jul. 01, 2021
Indictments unveiled in court on July 1, 2021, charge former president Donald Trump’s business organization and one of the key architects of its business empire with tax fraud relating to more than $1.7 million of certain “off-the-books perks,” including apartment rent, car payments and school tuition.
“This was a 15-year-long tax fraud scheme [that was] orchestrated by the most senior executives,” said prosecutor Carey Dunn. The charges allege that the scheme was intended “to compensate Weisselberg and other Trump Organization in a manner that was “off the books.” The charges include 15 felony counts, including the scheme to defraud, grand larceny, conspiracy and falsifying business records.
Culminating a probe of several years by New York authorities, the court documents accuse CFO Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization with tax fraud. Both Weisselberg and the attorneys representing the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty.
The investigation into these matters was pursued jointly by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James. President Trump himself was not charged in the alleged cover-up. However, he has steadfastly refused to disclose the personal tax returns he has filed for several decades, citing ongoing audits by the IRS.
Weisselberg has worked for the organization since the early seventies. He has been praised by the former president for his loyalty on numerous occasions. The CFO has even helped with Trump’s tax returns for more than twenty years.
Prosecutors have maintained that the investigation isn’t political in nature. But the Trump Organization staunchly defended Weisselberg in a statement, saying he was being used by Vance’s office as “a pawn in a scorched-earth attempt to harm the former president.” The organization also asserted that the IRS or any other district attorney would ever bring comparable charges over employee benefits.
Weisselberg, who resides in a relatively modest home on Long Island, came under scrutiny partially due to his son’s use of a Trump apartment at little or no cost.
As a general rule, compensation in forms other than cash or wages—such as fringe benefits granted to highly-paid executives—must be reported as taxable income. Weisselberg has been charged with orchestrating efforts to avoid this tax liability.
Stay tuned for more developments.