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Criminal proceedings against Trump companies have begun in New York

NEW YORK (dpa-AFX) – A lawsuit against the group of companies of the same name, long led by former US President Donald Trump, for tax fraud has begun in New York. The proceedings in Manhattan began Monday with the selection of twelve jurors, as reported unanimously by the US media. Last year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, for tax fraud, among other things. Trump himself has not been charged and, according to the media, he is unlikely to testify.

According to the prosecutor, the company systematically cheated tax authorities under Weisselberg’s supervision from 2005 to 2021. This is to hide tax-free benefits like luxury cars and expensive apartments from Weisselberg and other executives. The Trump Organization and another accused company in the group could face a fine of up to $ 1.7 million.

In June 2021, Weisselberg resigned from his position as chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. A few weeks later, he pleaded guilty to a total of 15 counts, including conspiracy, tax fraud, theft and forgery of corporate documents. The 75-year-old has escaped a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years. Instead, he had to pay a total of nearly two million US dollars in taxes and fines due and received five months in prison and five additional years of probation. In return, he agreed to testify against the company in the trial, but not against Trump himself.

When he took office as US president in January 2017, Donald Trump announced his retirement from the top of his group of companies, which is made up of many smaller companies. He had passed it on to Weisselberg and his sons Don Jr. and Eric Trump. Trump has problems with the US judiciary in a number of other cases, including the dispute over withheld government documents, the assault on the Capitol, the delivery of tax documents or fraud.

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