Legal Issues

Jury Deliberates After Prosecutors Allege Donald Trump Knew About Tax Fraud

Jury Deliberates After Prosecutors Allege Donald Trump Knew About Tax Fraud

The 12-person jury in the Trump Organization criminal trial begins deliberations today, Monday, December 5, after the prosecution alleged that Donald Trump knew about the tax fraud scheme while it was occurring.

Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

During closing arguments on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass told jurors in Manhattan Criminal Court, “Donald Trump is explicitly sanctioning tax fraud. That’s what this document shows."

Per NBC News, Steinglass continued, "This whole narrative that Donald Trump is blissfully ignorant is just not real.”

The 15-year tax evasion scheme, according to the prosecution, was enacted so that star witness, former CFO Allen Weisselberg, could provide perks for himself and his family.

Per a new NBC article, the defense argued that the Manhattan district attorney's office failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Weisselberg's actions were on behalf of the Trump Organization. 

75-year-old Weisselberg -- who turned state's witness in August in exchange for a plea deal that includes prison time -- reportedly fought back tears on the stand in November as he was questioned about breaking the trust of the Trump family, whom he worked for for nearly 50 years. 

Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

CNN noted that Weisselberg did acknowledge that the tax scheme ended when Donald Trump took office as President of the United States. 

Trump Organization Controller Jeffrey. McConney testified about the specific process that resulted in him tacking on fringe benefits to salaries and bonuses at the direction of high-level company officials.  

McConney, who previously implicated the disgraced former CFO, reiterated that Weisselberg and others directed him to skirt tax laws. 

If convicted, the Trump Organization could face costly fines and other penalties, in addition to fallout in the business world, according to a report from the New York Times.

Although former President Donald Trump is not himself named in the ongoing criminal trial, he has been facing an onslaught of his own legal problems following the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

The businessman's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida was the subject of a now-infamous Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raid on August 8 and, per Bloomberg, the businessman "invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on Wednesday [August 10] to avoid answering deposition questions in a civil probe of his family real estate business by New York Attorney General Letitia James."

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump recently came under fire for falsely accusing past Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama of keeping classified documents, as well. 

All of this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Trump family's legal woes right now. Letitia James and her office have officially filed a $250 million civil suit against Trump, and the former President is also the subject of an ongoing 2020 election fraud probe in Georgia.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court recently overturned a temporary hold on Trump's personal tax records, paving the way for them to be released to the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee.

What do you think the verdict will be in the Trump Organization trial?

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Feature Image Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

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Rebekah Barton

Rebekah Barton

Rebekah's search engine optimization career began completely by accident as a college student. Over the course of her career so far, she has "grown up" with the SEO industry, from writing content while juggling classes to managing her own teams of writers and overseeing SEO strategy in subsequent roles. She is excited to bring her passion for high-quality content to CountingWorks, Inc.

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