While The Donald himself is not facing charges related to what authorities call an “audacious” tax fraud scheme, his company and his Chief Financial Officer are facing accusations that they failed to report over $1.7 million in earnings. It is unclear whether or not Trump will be charged, but investigators noted that he signed some of the questionable checks. Nonetheless, that comes short of proving fraud, which requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant knowingly deceived the federal government by hiding income streams. It is much more likely that the company’s CFO will take the fall for this.
As part of the scheme, the CFO paid himself and other executives off the books by utilizing lucrative fringe benefits, hence reducing their payroll taxes. Meanwhile, Trump is employing his usual strategy of demonizing the investigation as a “witch hunt” perpetrated by “radical democrats.”
Is This a Witch Hunt?
Typically, witch hunts involve sweeping allegations pointed at a broad community. The hunters do not know witch from woman, so they test them all using a variety of unsophisticated techniques and eventually perform brutal capital punishments.
In this case, you have two New York Democrats who are searching through every single company that Trump ever owned looking for evidence of fraud, tax evasion, or whatever else. The lead prosecutors, in this case, are Cyrus Vance and Letitia James. Vance is a Manhattan prosecutor whose sole purpose appears to be to investigate Trump. Letitia James is New York’s State Attorney. Both are Democrats.
Vance has been, for the past several years, conducting a singular investigation into the Trump Organization. These include hush-money payments to women supposedly sexually harassed by Trump and accusations that he manipulated property prices to reduce tax liabilities and improve the chances of getting loans.
Typically, investigations like this begin with an allegation or a belief that the law has been broken. In part, lawsuits targeting Trump are political in nature. You have powerful Cuomo allies in New York targeting Trump’s holdings in the state through his Trump Organization which manages those holdings. While they have yet to uncover any evidence of specific wrongdoing committed by Trump, there is cause for concern surrounding at least one of Trump’s CFOs.
The Case Against the CFO
Is broad-scale cronyism really a crime? No. But in this case, the CFO is accused of manipulating documents and circumstances in an attempt to reduce his tax liabilities. In one case, he paid rent for a Manhattan apartment using company checks as a way to avoid paying nearly $1 million in taxes. Further, while many of the CFO’s perks were listed on his employment contract, none of those perks were listed on his W-2.
However, even if Trump’s name was on the checks, they were issued at the CFO’s request. Employers are not responsible for checking information on W-2 forms. That is the sole responsibility of the filer. So unless the CFO flips on Trump, the state’s attorney will not have a case against him.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing federal charges related to white collar crime, call the Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to learn more about how we can help you fight the charges.