Trump Organization's Tax Fraud Trial

Trump Organization’s Tax Fraud Trial

When the Trump Corporation’s attorneys questioned Mazar’s accountant Donald Bender on Monday morning, Judge Juan Merchan admonished them for filing motions and additional evidence late Sunday night and informed them that he will no longer accept any motions from the attorneys.

Around midnight, the defense team turned over 18 pieces of evidence to the prosecution. At the very least, it’s disrespectful, the judge remarked. It’s “good old-fashioned sandbagging” at worst.

The judge occasionally yelled at defense lawyer Susan Necheles to take a seat. Merchan said to Necheles, “It almost seems like you don’t want me to make a decision on the matter. “It almost seems as if you don’t want me to do it correctly. I will not be accepting any filings from the Trump Corporation moving forward.

The judge turned down Necheles’ motion to introduce an accounting code of conduct and her desire to label Bender a “hostile” witness. The introduction of the code of conduct, according to Merchan, would lead to the emergence of unrelated new lines of inquiry. He earlier decided that the Trump enterprises could not cite their reliance on the accountants as a defense.

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Necheles retorted, “Our defense is that we depended on accountants to determine our state of mind. She claimed that Mazars received a sizable payment from the Trump firms, that they were great accountants, and that they were aware of what the Trump companies had done because it was detailed in their books and records.

Bender claimed that some of the salaries and perks that Trump Organization officials got were kept from him. Bender claimed to be aware of the fact that some workers received bonuses in the same ways as consultants, providing them and the Trump organizations with particular tax advantages.

When Necheles interviews Bender again this morning, she wants to press him further on what he knew. After the prosecution opted not to use Bender in their case, the defense called him. The judge made remarks to Necheles, the attorney for the Trump Corporation. A different group of lawyers is in charge of representing The Trump Payroll Corp.

The two Trump Organization companies are accused of a 15-year plot to mislead tax authorities by failing to register and pay taxes on employee salary on nine counts of tax fraud, grand larceny, and fabricating company documents. On Monday, the businesses rested their case and entered a not-guilty plea.

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Conflict on what the accounting firm knew

A Trump Corp. attorney tried to argue that Mazars USA, the accounting firm that prepared the taxes, would have seen that the Trump company was paying for cars for top executives when the trial resumed on Monday by taking the jury through the company’s financial records, despite the accountant’s testimony that the information was kept from him.

A side-by-side comparison of Mazar’s worksheet that included parking ticket expenses and the general ledger for the Trump entity, which also contained identical ticket expenses, was presented to the jury. Additionally, payments made by the business for car leases for Allen Weisselberg, Matthew Calamari, and their spouses were documented in the Trump general ledger.

The Trump Organization’s account was handled by Bender, a former Mazars USA accountant who had previously testified that he was unaware of many of the case’s key off-the-books financial benefits, including the company-provided cars. Bender said in court that his colleague created the spreadsheet and that he didn’t look at the general ledger.

In response to Necheles’ inquiry on Monday regarding the general ledger’s inclusion of Weisselberg and Calamari’s cars as well as their parking fines, Bender said that his coworker most likely used the “control-f” function to perform a search of the file to locate all of the parking ticket expenditures.

“That’s the method I would use. Bender stated, “I wouldn’t go through every account in the general ledger. Bill Brennan, an attorney for the Trump Payroll Corp., questioned Bender during cross-examination about whether he still believed he performed satisfactorily in his role as an accountant for the Trump businesses. I did an excellent job, Bender said in response.

Jury selection might begin on Monday.

Necheles argued over whether the new evidence could be introduced into the case after the jury was dismissed for lunch. Susan Hoffinger, the prosecutor, claimed that the Trump lawyers had been “double sandbagging” them ever since Necheles changed her mind about how she wanted to use one of the documents she had given them at midnight.

Necheles claimed she intended to present documentation proving Bender was involved with the Trump Corp.’s tax return. The judge continued to be frustrated from earlier as he questioned Necheles about her goals for the testimony. The judge declared, “I think I have gone above and beyond” for the defense.

He clarified that this did not imply that they may bombard the jury with a tonne of evidence and see what sticks. That doesn’t imply you can dispute anything, though. Not at all. It doesn’t function like that. I won’t permit that, the judge declared. The jury could receive the case the following Monday, the judge said, and closing arguments will likely take place on Thursday.