Trump Organization was found criminally liable for tax fraud committed by two company executives.
Donald Trump denounced the jury outcome and claimed his corporation was not involved in the scheme.
The former president said he plans to appeal the results.
Donald Trump lamented that it's hard to be a "Trump" in New York City after a Manhattan jury found the former president's real-estate empire criminally liable of tax fraud on Tuesday.
"New York City is a hard place to be 'Trump,' as businesses and people flee our once Great City," the former President said in a statement.
The Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday after a Manhattan jury deliberated for a total of 10 hours, putting a close to a six-week trial. The company now faces up to $1.6 million in penalties at its sentencing on January 13.
In the statement, Trump said he was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal the decision. The former president also issued a separate social media response seemingly reacting to the verdict on Truth Social late Tuesday night.
"THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME CONTINUES, OVER & OVER AGAIN, & THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY AREN'T GOING TO TAKE IT MUCH LONGER. A GIANT POLITICAL SCAM!!!" he wrote.
Two top executives at the organization are at the center of the conviction: ex-CFO Allen Weisselberg and payroll executive Jeffrey McConney.
In August, Weisselberg pled guilty to 15 counts of tax fraud and other financial crimes and admitted to conspiring with his colleague McConney.
Both men however have denied that the organization stood to benefit from their misconduct. The responsibility laid on the Manhattan District Attorney's prosecution team to prove that others throughout the company gained through the tax-fraud scheme.
Evidence shown in the trial revealed that Trump or his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., signed off on luxury apartments, Mercedes-Benzes, private school tuition, and other tax-free "perks" that were not included in the company's W-2 tax forms.
Trump and his sons were not indicted in the case.
In his statement, Trump pinned the tax-fraud scheme onto Weisselberg and denied that he or anyone in his family knew about the scheme. He added that his organization did not financially benefit from Weisselberg's actions.
"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," Trump claimed.
Though Trump himself was not put on trial, the conviction could have implications for the former president.
The Trump Organization could be blacklisted from pursuing any federal contracts, for example, which includes the continued use of Secret Service agents who stay at Trump's properties. The House Oversight Committee found that the organization billed the Secret Service more than $1.4 million to stay at the properties during Trump's presidency.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Source: Read Full Article