Key takeaways from the Trump Organization indictment
On July 1, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office accused the Trump Organization and the CFO Allen WeisselbergAllen Howard Weisselberg Poll: 51% of voters say Trump Org’s CFO accusation is “politically motivated.” Painful Losers: Trump and Netanyahu have a lot in common. with several counts of tax evasion, robbery, conspiracy and falsification of business records. The indictment alleged that since 2005, Weisselberg (who was making $ 940,000 a year in salary and bonuses) had not reported $ 1.7 million in “off the book” benefits to the IRS , including $ 1.17 million in rent for an apartment in Manhattan; $ 360,000 in tuition at a private school for her grandchildren (with checks allegedly signed by Donald trumpThe Donald TrumpCalifornia event center abandons its plan to host Gaetz, Greene Murkowski’s “America First” tour: Trump “threatened to do a lot” for those who resist him. Alaska GOP endorses Murkowski’s main challenger MORE itself); $ 200,000 for the lease of a Mercedes Benz; and a flat-screen TV, carpet installation, and furniture for her Florida home. To evade New York City taxes, the indictment alleges Weisselberg also falsely claimed that his primary residence was outside Manhattan.
Prosecutors estimate that Weisselberg evaded $ 556.00 in federal taxes, $ 106,000 in state taxes and $ 238,000 in New York City taxes.
According to the indictment, the Trump Organization recorded the benefits in internal spreadsheets but did not include disbursements in favor of Weisselberg in its annual returns to the IRS nor did it pay payroll taxes on these latter. Investigators from the offices of District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James continue to investigate whether the Trump Organization has also fraudulently manipulated property values to obtain better bank loans and reduce its tax obligations .
Trump, who boasted in 2017, that he knew “the details of taxes better than anyone, better than the biggest CPA,” now sings a different tune. “They are going after good workers for not paying tax on a company car,” he said at a rally in Sarasota, Fla. On July 3. “You used an apartment because you need an apartment because you also have to travel far to where your house is. You didn’t pay tax. … Or the education of your grandchildren. . I don’t even know. Should you? Does anyone know the answer to this stuff? “
These developments seem to shed light on what many former Trump University students already have know: The Trump Organization appears to be a corrupt company. But there’s one more important point to remember: there is no better place than Trump’s America to be a white collar criminal. To preserve our prosperity and any chance of achieving equal justice under the law for all Americans, we urgently need to stop subsidizing the rich and telling everyone else to fend for themselves.
Following substantial cuts to the law enforcement division of the IRS by a Republican-controlled Congress, federal white-collar lawsuits have reached a lowest historical in January 2020 (with data going back 35 years). According to a study by the Brookings Institution, one in six dollars in federal taxes is currently unpaid, or about three-quarters of the annual federal budget before the pandemic.
Millionaires are 80% less likely to be audited than they were a decade ago. Since the tax returns of the poor are relatively easy to analyze electronically, they are now also likely to be checked as individuals with income in the top 1%. And criminal referrals by the IRS are down 25 percent as of 2010.
In 2019, according to a estimate, uncollected revenue was $ 554 billion. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig recently indicated the shortfall could reach 1,000 billion dollars. To close the gap, the Biden administration proposed adding 87,000 employees to the IRS responsible for enforcing existing laws and conducting audits of high net worth individuals and large corporations. The administration predicts that the initiative, which will be implemented over a 10-year period and includes more stringent reporting requirements for financial institutions, will add $ 300 billion to the US Treasury.
If passed, the Biden plan could send a signal to wealthy Americans that they must pay their fair share. And, who knows, a conviction of Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization (on these charges or on subsequent charges) might convince some working-class and middle-class voters (whose lifetime incomes will never reach $ 1). , $ 7 million) than when Donald Trump greeted them as “the backbone and heartbeat of our country” and promised that “in a rigged system I will face your enemies”, the carnival barker from Queens would sell them a bill for goods and laugh until the bank.
Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He is the co-author (with Stuart Blumin) of “Rude Republic: Americans and their politics in the 19th century. “