The Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll were today found guilty of tax fraud and falsifying records by jurors in Manhattan, reports CNN. The companies paid for executives' personal expenses and luxuries and lied about it to avoid them and it being taxed for the perks, many personally arranged by Trump himself. Though Trump and his family were not personally charged, his involvement loomed large in court and in closing statements.
Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury in closing arguments that Trump "explicitly sanctioned" tax fraud and urged them to reject the defense's argument that former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was a rogue employee motivated by his own personal greed.
"This whole narrative that Donald Trump is blissfully ignorant is just not true," Steinglass said.
The jury heard that Trump agreed on a whim to pay the private school tuition for his Weisselberg's grandchildren and signed a lease for a Manhattan apartment to shorten the executive's commute. Trump personally signed his employees' bonus checks at Christmas time and he initialed a memo reducing the salary of another top executives, which prosecutors said suggested he knew all along about the fraudulent scheme.
The fines are going to be trivial—up to $1.6m, reports CNBC—but it was nice to find out the details of how he made life sweet for his corrupt cronies.
Moreover, this is the one case that got him so mad he tried to use an outright racial slur online: he bizarrely referred to New York's black Attorney General as "peekaboo" when the charges were filed, which just happens to be the autocorrected result of typing an almost identical insult beginning with J, and makes no sense whatsoever in any other context. So while the punishment may be slight, his rage at it will be large.