Trump Organization tax evasion trial opens Monday

Trump Organization tax evasion trial opens Monday< /p> UPDATE DAY

The trial for fraud and tax evasion of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump's family business, opens Monday in New York, an embarrassing spectacle for the former president who is however not targeted personally by this penal aspect. 

This trial, which will begin with the selection of jurors, concerns accusations of irregularities in the company's accounts since 2005, and of compensation received by the group's leaders having been hidden from the tax authorities.

L ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, 75, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion involving $1.76 million in unreported income between 2005 and 2021.< /p>

This close friend of Donald Trump is accused of having taken advantage of undeclared benefits in kind, including an apartment in an upscale neighborhood of Manhattan, the rental of two Mercedes for him and his wife, or cash for his vacation.

He will be one of the key witnesses in the trial against the company, which is currently run by two of the former president's sons – Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump – and which notably owns real estate investments, hotels and golf courses. Two subsidiaries, Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corp, are targeted.

“Allen Weisselberg admitted in court to using his position at the Trump Organization to defraud taxpayers and enrich himself personally,” Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg said in August, when the former CFO pleaded. guilty.

“The agreement reached with justice directly binds the Trump Organization to a wide range of criminal activities,” he added.

According to the agreement reached, Mr. Weisselberg must notably pay nearly 2 million dollars in taxes, with penalties and interest, and testify at the trial.

He has so far always refused to testify against Donald Trump personally.

The Trump Organization, which pleaded not guilty, is accused of having kept parallel accounts, under the supervision of Mr. Weisselberg, for cover up the salary supplements he and other executives were receiving.

If the facts are proven, the company could be fined heavily.

Donald Trump, who has not officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, but who does not hide his ambitions, is not himself targeted by this trial, unlike another civil component.

< p>This other investigation, also relating to suspicions of tax fraud within the Trump Organization, is led by the Attorney General of the State of New York, Letitia James.

In September, the latter announced lawsuits against Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump. She is seeking $250 million in reparations on behalf of New York State.