Speed Reads

Uh oh...

Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud, financial crimes

Former President Donald Trump's eponymous business was found guilty on multiple counts of tax fraud and other financial crimes on Tuesday, jurors in state Supreme Court in Manhattan announced. After more than a day of deliberations, the court declared that both the Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corporation broke the law as part of an expansive scheme to shelter top executives from income taxes, convicting the companies on all 17 counts. 

Neither the former president nor his family were indicted as part of the case and have all denied any wrongdoing, although prosecutors have alleged Trump "knew exactly what was going on" at his namesake company. 

In a statement released shortly after the verdicts were announced, the Trump Organization blamed former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges this summer, claiming "Mr. Weisselberg testified under oath that he 'betrayed' the trust the company had placed in him. The notion that a company could be held responsible for an employee's actions, to benefit themselves, on their own personal tax returns is simply preposterous."

While the Trump Organization is now required to pay just $1.62 million in fines, The New York Times reports that the reputational damage to the former president's business could limit its ability to find potential lenders, while also giving the Trump Organization diminished leverage to negotiate favorable deals. 

"The former president's companies now stand convicted of crimes," Manhattan District Attorney Alvan Bragg announced following the verdict. "That is consequential. It underscores that in Manhattan we have one standard of justice for all."