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NY Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Trial Against Donald Trump & Family

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    When you come to a fork in the road, take it?
    Close!

    More like, It ain’t over till it’s over
    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

      Close!

      More like, It ain’t over till it’s over
      Best Yogi quote: I didn't say all the things I said.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • #33
        Manhattan DA Hires Big Gun to Lead Trump Probe
        “The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is hiring a former senior justice department official with a history of taking on Donald Trump and his family business, as the office seeks to ramp up its investigation into the former president,” the New York Times reports.

        “The official, Matthew Colangelo, who before acting as third in command at the Justice Department, led the New York attorney general’s civil inquiry into Mr. Trump, will likely become one of the leaders of the district attorney’s criminal investigation into the former president.”
        ___________

        What was wrong with the investigators that you already had?? You know, the ones that quit in disgust because you wouldn't indict Trump?
        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

        Comment


        • #34
          Trump Organization Convicted of Tax Fraud

          Donald Trump’s namesake company was convicted of tax crimes committed by two of its longtime executives after a Manhattan trial that gave jurors a peek at some of the inner workings of the Trump Organization’s finances, the Washington Post reports.

          New York Times: “The conviction on all 17 counts, after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”

          Wall Street Journal: “The jury found two Trump Organization corporate entities guilty of all criminal counts they faced, including conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. The two entities could face a total of more than $1.6 million in fines.”
          __________

          Just over a day of deliberating. One Day. All 17 counts.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	download.jfif Views:	0 Size:	9.4 KB ID:	1594911
          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

          Comment


          • #35
            Trump’s Company Held in Contempt in Secret Trial

            “Donald Trump’s family business lost a criminal contempt trial that was held in secret last fall,” the New York Times reports.

            A newly-released document “showed that in October 2021, a one-day contempt trial was held after prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office requested that the company be punished for ‘willfully disobeying’ four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders enforcing compliance.”
            ______
            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

            Comment


            • #36
              Inside the Jury Room for the Trump Org Criminal Trial
              To avoid letting their personal feelings toward Donald Trump cloud their judgment, jurors for the criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization had a novel strategy: They referred to the former president as “Joe Smith.”

              “I constantly fought my knee-jerk belief that of course anything with the name Trump on it is crooked,” one juror told The Daily Beast this week. “I shocked myself in mid-November when I realized that I wasn’t sure I could find the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation guilty. We talked in the jury room about having to put on blinders and look just at these two companies. One of the guys started calling Trump ‘Joe Smith.’ From there on we referred to ‘Mr. Smith’s company.’”

              After a six-week trial, it took the jury just two days last week to come back with guilty verdicts on all nine counts issued against a pair of Trump Organization affiliate companies. Jurors were convinced the companies had blatantly committed fraud, but they still felt compelled to carefully consider each criminal charge to be absolutely sure the facts lined up with legal definitions, according to this juror who exclusively spoke to The Daily Beast.

              New Yorkers on the jury that convicted the Trump Organization of tax fraud and other related crimes last week were deeply offended at the way those two Trump firms cheated everyday people, this juror said.

              “Do you want the potholes fixed sooner? That’s where this money comes from,” this person recalled hearing in the jury deliberation room.

              “And the total Medicare tax they dodged was maybe $25,000. We were supposed to consider pittance. It might be a pittance for you, but it wasn’t a pittance for any of us. I want my Medicare funded,” the juror told The Daily Beast.

              Manhattan District Attorney prosecutors successfully convinced jurors that former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg acted “in behalf of” the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation when taxes were dodged and business records were faked. But until now, no one knew how jurors came to that decision.

              The juror, whose identity we have confirmed, asked to remain anonymous to avoid threats from angry MAGA loyalists. This person carefully detailed the way the 12 jurors examined the evidence, wrestled over the various criminal charges, and reacted to the lawyers’ presentations during the two days of deliberations in a room at the Manhattan criminal courthouse.

              The juror said it was easy to follow the guidance Justice Juan Merchan kept repeating—that Trump himself wasn’t on trial. But the bigger challenge was separating their personal animus toward the twice-impeached former president who tried to cling to power and keeps attacking American democracy.

              “I was very clear—as was every juror—that DJT was not a party to this lawsuit, but I couldn’t help but remember the 2016 debate with [Hillary] Clinton when she showed he hadn’t paid federal taxes and he proudly remarked that was because he was ‘smart.’ That was his opinion of taxes and this was his company. Taxpayers are losers, in Trumpland,” this juror said.

              Fellow jurors were apparently annoyed at the way corporate defense lawyer Michael van der Veen tried adopting his own defense catchphrase à la O.J. Simpson trial: “Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg.”

              Trump’s defense lawyers argued that the companies couldn’t possibly be to blame for the way several executives rearranged their pay to dodge taxes. They tried to convince the jury that the most egregious example—Weisselberg—did it all on his own, and not to benefit the Trump Organization.

              “Everyone hated ‘Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg.’ We found it demeaning. How stupid do you think we are? At least Johnnie Cochran [who famously insisted ‘If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit’] had a viable point.” the juror said, recalling that, at one point during deliberations one of the jurors blurted out, “Does he really think this is going to influence us?”

              This person also said jurors were insulted at the way van der Veen ridiculed the soft-spoken Donald Bender, the Trump Organization’s longtime contracted accountant at Mazars USA who testified that he knew nothing of the company’s fraud scheme.

              “Michael van der Veen did nothing to help himself by imitating Donald Bender's voice and speech impediment… impugning his manhood because the guy spoke with a high voice. People really, really didn’t like that,” this person said, noting that one juror commented: “How small-minded and unnecessary.”


              But jurors also had strong feelings about Weisselberg’s right-hand man, company controller Jeffrey McConney.

              The accountant was rewarded immunity from criminal charges by the Manhattan prosecutors in exchange for admitting to his role in the scheme and ratting out his coworkers. But on the stand at trial, McConney played dumb with prosecutors while actively helping the defense. The juror who spoke to The Daily Beast said fellow jurors seemed bothered by the bumbling act he put on.

              “Nobody believed McConney. Everybody got that he was stonewalling the prosecution and just could not say enough for the defense,” the juror said. “[His testimony] seemed to be incompetent lying. He tried to obfuscate but ended up sounding stupid.”

              The trial lasted more than a month, because it was constantly interrupted by fall holidays and a COVID outbreak that sickened a witness—as well as the judge. When jurors finally started talking to each other about the case last Monday morning during deliberations, they quickly found that they were all in agreement that the fraud at these firms was rampant, this person told The Daily Beast.

              They first contemplated whether to judge one corporation then the other, but instead they decided to examine the nine criminal counts in numerical order, the juror said. The jury foreperson—a woman in the health-care field who kept a calm and reassuring demeanor—paused constantly to ask if anyone had any questions or needed to review evidence. But reviewing the evidence was messy, because none of the documents were clearly marked, the juror recalled.

              They first considered whether the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation engaged in a scheme to defraud.

              “Does anyone think it’s ‘guilty?’” the foreperson asked. When everyone quickly raised their hands, it became comically apparent that it would be more efficient to do the opposite, the juror speaking to The Daily Beast recalled.

              “From now on, I’ll ask if anyone thinks they're not guilty,” the foreperson said, according to the juror.

              The juror recalled that when some questioned Weisselberg and McConney’s roles at the company, a man who’s a mid-level manager at a corporation told his fellow jurors that both undoubtedly met the standard for “high managerial agents.”

              According to the tell-all juror, one surprising detail was that they did not stumble on what was expected to be the biggest hurdle of the trial: whether or not Weisselberg and McConney acted “in behalf of” the corporations.

              The judge had given them a fairly complex instruction of this legal standard. “It is not necessary that the criminal acts actually benefit the corporation,” the judge instructed the jury at one point. “But an agent’s acts are not ‘in behalf of' the corporation if they were undertaken solely to advance the agent’s own interests. Put another way, if the agent’s acts were taken merely for personal gain, they were not ‘in behalf of’ the corporation.”

              The jury quickly grasped that this was different from saying “on behalf of,” which would be like acting as an agent for someone’s interests. Instead, they likened it to a doctor giving a medical opinion “in behalf of” a patient, essentially doing it to help.

              On that point, all the jurors quickly agreed: Weisselberg had clearly helped his employer dodge taxes by lowering his own salary to cover the luxury cars, apartment, and other benefits he and his wife received.

              The juror told The Daily Beast they “loved” prosecutor Joshua Steinglass’ explanation that the Trump Organization benefited handsomely by directly giving Weisselberg a car, because it would have had to pay him far more than that to account for taxes.

              And it was even more obvious that Weisselberg wanted to help out the company, because the expensive tuition checks he got for his grandchildren from Donald Trump weren’t paid back to the man—they were directed to the Trump Organization.

              But nothing seemed to piss off jurors more than the way the company enriched its executives by paying them part of their salary as “independent contractors,” which allowed several of them—even ones who weren’t indicted—to dodge even more taxes.

              “Everybody was disgusted to some degree that they were making good salaries and yet they still had to get more,” the juror said.

              As for Trump, this juror looks forward to an eventual indictment of the former president. But they’re not surprised that DA Alvin Bragg Jr. hasn’t pulled the trigger yet.

              “You’ve gotta know you’re gonna win,” this juror said. “You can’t waste the money. You can’t take Trump to court and lose because then, he’s not ‘not guilty.’ He’s ‘innocent.’ That’s how he’d interpret it.”
              ____________
              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

              Comment


              • #37
                Judge slams Trump suit aimed at blocking N.Y. attorney general probe

                A federal judge has turned down an effort by former President Donald Trump to block aspects of New York Attorney General Tish James' drive to place the Trump business empire under court supervision due to what she claims is persistent fraud.

                U.S. District Court Donald Middlebrooks coupled his ruling Wednesday with a stern warning to Trump and his lawyers that their legal tactics could result in sanctions from the court.

                "This litigation has all the telltale signs of being both vexatious and frivolous," Middlebrooks wrote in a footnote to his eight-page order turning down Trump's attempt to get emergency relief to stop James from gaining access to details about a trust that controls some Trump businesses.


                Trump filed the suit in a state court in Palm Beach, Fla., last month, but James had the case transferred to the nearby federal court where Middlebrooks sits.

                After an investigation that spanned more than three years, James filed suit in September against the Trump Organization, contending that the business engaged in repeated fraud in real estate, tax and insurance transactions.

                Under New York law, businesses engaged in repeated illegal behavior can face a range of sanctions that could make it almost impossible for his firms to do business in the state. Last month, a state judge in Manhattan agreed to James' request for a court-appointed monitor to oversee the Trump businesses while the case is litigated. Trump is appealing the ruling.

                Middlebrooks — an appointee of President Bill Clinton — said the Florida suit lacked merit for a variety of reasons, including that James isn't located in Florida. He also noted that a previous lawsuit Trump filed in federal court in New York to try to shut down James' probe was tossed out.

                The prospect of Middlebrooks imposing sanctions on Trump or his attorneys for pursuing litigation the judge views as "frivolous" is a real one. Just last month, Middlebrooks ordered four attorneys to pay a total of $66,000 for their involvement in filing a prior Trump suit against former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey and others alleging a conspiracy to falsely tie Trump to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

                "These were political grievances masquerading as legal claims,” Middlebrooks wrote then. “This cannot be attributed to incompetent lawyering. It was a deliberate use of the judicial system to pursue a political agenda.”

                Trump's lawyers are appealing those sanctions and Middlebrooks ruling throwing the 2016-related case out.

                There were indications of disagreement on Trump's team about whether to file the suit Middlebrooks that ruled on Wednesday. A Florida-based lawyer deeply involved in the James case in New York and other Trump legal matters, Christopher Kise, emphasized last month that he wasn't behind the Florida suit aiming to preserve the secrecy of Trump's trust there.

                "I don’t represent the trust in Florida,” Kise said. “I didn’t file it, obviously.”

                Alan Garten, a longtime top lawyer for the Trump Organization, opposed suing James in Florida, The New York Times reported last month.
                _________

                Bout time the justice system started shoving back at Trump's legal bullshit.
                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                  Trump’s Company Held in Contempt in Secret Trial

                  “Donald Trump’s family business lost a criminal contempt trial that was held in secret last fall,” the New York Times reports.

                  A newly-released document “showed that in October 2021, a one-day contempt trial was held after prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office requested that the company be punished for ‘willfully disobeying’ four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders enforcing compliance.”
                  ______
                  The Trump Organization was fined $4000 for that. Relative to their cash flow, that would not seem to carry any deterrent effect, zero. The expense associated with legal representation in that would likely eclipse that fine. I suspect that a parking ticket carries much higher relative penalty value to either the mean or median among the many owners of the vehicles ticketed for parking violations this year in Manhattan.

                  Originally posted by PBS

                  14 December 2022

                  Trump Organization ‘willfully’ hindered probe, hit with secret contempt finding

                  by Michael Sisak, Associated Press

                  NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's company impeded a grand jury investigation last year by repeatedly failing to turn over evidence in a timely fashion, leading to a secret contempt finding and a $4,000 fine, according to court records made public Tuesday.

                  The Trump Organization was found to have been "willfully disobeying" four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders, to the detriment of Manhattan prosecutors who were left ill-prepared to question witnesses, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan ruled.

                  The subpoenas, issued in March, April, May and June 2021, preceded the Trump Organization's July 2021 indictment on criminal tax fraud charges for helping executives avoid taxes on company-paid perks. The company was convicted this month and faces a fine of up to $1.6 million.

                  The $4,000 contempt fine was the maximum allowable by law.

                  It's yet another kerfuffle involving Trump and allegations of mishandling or withholding records. In April, a judge held Trump in contempt and fined him $110,000 for being slow to respond to a civil subpoena issued by New York's attorney general. The former president has also been under investigation for storing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

                  Merchan vaguely referenced the Trump Organization's contempt proceeding while presiding over the company's criminal trial, saying he would wait until after it was over to unseal records related to an unspecified proceeding held last year.

                  That proceeding turned out to be the Trump Organization's closed-door contempt trial on Oct. 7, 2021 and Merchan's partially redacted 28-page ruling finding the company in contempt, which he issued on Dec. 8, 2021.

                  While the company's name was blacked out in the court record released Tuesday, the details in the decision and the manner in which it was unsealed by the judge made it clear who was involved.

                  Manhattan prosecutors, frustrated with the company's lack of compliance, had sought "coercive sanctions" of $60,000 per day, Merchan said.

                  Manhattan prosecutors, frustrated with the company's lack of compliance, had sought "coercive sanctions" of $60,000 per day, Merchan said.

                  Trump Organization lawyers argued that the company had been providing a steady stream of records, at one point totaling more than 3.5 million pages of records, but Merchan said that was "just enough to fend off" the prosecution's request for penalties "while never fully meeting any of the deadlines."

                  "When challenged (the company) provided one excuse after another," Merchan wrote. "At times it claimed it was impossible to meet deadlines because the demands were too voluminous, overbroad or vague. On other occasions, it blamed delays and omissions on human error" or technical issues.

                  In the recently concluded criminal tax fraud trial, two corporate entities at the Trump Organization were convicted Dec. 6 of charges including charges of conspiracy and falsifying business records. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 13. The defense said it will appeal. Trump himself was not on trial.

                  The company's former finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, previously pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company's books to illegally reduce his taxes on $1.7 million in fringe benefits such as a Manhattan apartment and luxury cars. He testified in exchange for a promised five-month jail sentence.
                  ...
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                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by JRT View Post

                    The Trump Organization was fined $4000 for that. Relative to their cash flow, that would not seem to carry any deterrent effect, zero. The expense associated with legal representation in that would likely eclipse that fine. I suspect that a parking ticket carries much higher relative penalty value to either the mean or median among the many owners of the vehicles ticketed for parking violations this year in Manhattan.

                    ...
                    Moneywise? Yeah that's just a dinner out for a couple of Trump executives. But, like the Trump Organization's recent 17 felony convictions for tax fraud, that contempt fine for ""willfully disobeying" four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders" will likely have consequences far beyond the few nickels and dimes they had to pay.

                    Remember that dreaded, yet amorphous "permanent record" that kids used to get threatened with? Yeah, it's a real thing in this case. Here's a truncated repost from another thread about those 17 felony convictions.

                    All three of the points remaining can easily apply to their contempt charge:


                    The Trump Organization Conviction Is Going to Have Fallout

                    Last week, the Trump Organization was found guilty on 17 counts of tax fraud. The fine will be only $1.6 million, petty cash to Trump, but the fallout could be immense.

                    First, in other jurisdictions, prosecutors could realize that bringing cases against the Trump Organization or even Trump himself is not a fool's errand. More cases could pop up all over the place. They could be civil cases from people who were duped by Trump somehow, or criminal cases by ambitious D.A.'s who see gold in nailing Trump. Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis probably sees this as a sign from heaven that she should indict him, and there could be others in states where Trump has properties and has dodged taxes.

                    Second, while prosecutors in other cases will probably be forbidden from introducing Trump's convictions as formal evidence at subsequent trials. Most of the jurors are likely to know about these convictions. That could certainly influence their votes. In the secrecy of the jury's deliberation room, somebody might just say: "We know he committed 17 other crimes. Does anyone really believe they were the only ones? He's clearly a crook."

                    Fifth, these convictions make it more likely that Trump will try to make a plea deal with NY AG Letitia James to avoid yet another batch of very public convictions. But she is in the driver's seat here and is certainly not going to settle for a $2 million fine and let it go at that. She could require a massive fine and an agreement to stop doing all business in New York State for 5 years or more. (V)
                    The Trump Org is now officially "on the record" for giving the court system (multiple) middle fingers. Now, I'm no lawyer of course, but if I was a prosecutor or attorney going after Trump or the Trump Org, I now have recent proof that they'll do pretty much anything to obstruct court orders, subpoenas etc. and present it to the judge who will be more than justified in sweeping aside the usual Trump delaying tactics.

                    "Your Honor, based on recent court convictions and fines, the Trump Organization is little better than an organized crime racket and their most recent attempts to stall these proceedings are clearly rooted in the same bad faith"

                    The Trump Org's reputation in this regard has always been a shambles. This is just piling on more of the same and demonstrating graphically that nothing has changed and indeed things have only gotten worse.
                    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Trump Lawyers Face Possible Sanctions in NY Civil Fraud Case

                      (Bloomberg) -- The New York judge overseeing the state’s civil fraud suit against Donald Trump and his sprawling real-estate company is losing patience with the former president’s argument that the case is a “witch hunt.”

                      State court Justice Arthur Engoron warned lawyers for the former president, his business entities and two of his children that he may hit them with sanctions for making the same arguments to dismiss the case that he already rejected previously.

                      “This court is considering imposing sanctions for frivolous litigation,” Engoron said in a Jan. 4 letter to the lawyers that was posted on the court docket. The attorneys for the defendants are repeatedly “making the same arguments based on the same facts and the same law,” he said.

                      The threat is the latest setback for Trump in the $250 million suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who claims the former president, three of his children and the Trump Organization manipulated the value of mogul’s assets for years deceive banks and insurers.

                      The judge sent the letter to the law firms of Alina Habba, who represents Trump and his company; Clifford S. Robert, who represents Trump’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; and Christopher Kise, who represents several Trump trusts and business entities.

                      The lawyers argued in their motions to dismiss the lawsuit that the case is politically motivated because James, a Democrat, targeted Trump to advance her career. They also argued James lacks legal standing to sue and that Trump’s former accounting firm used disclaimers that would have made it clear to banks and insurers that it hadn’t audited Trump’s financial statements.

                      But Engoron noted in his letter that he already rejected those arguments when they were raised in opposition to James’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the case. Based on that motion, the judge appointed an independent monitor to oversee some aspects of Trump’s business while the case proceeds.

                      The lawyers responded in a joint letter to Engoron late Thursday night, saying his threat of sanctions was based “on a flawed legal premise.”

                      “It would be a prejudicial reversible error for a court to reject arguments brought forth by litigants on the basis that such arguments were previously rejected in a preliminary injunction order,” the lawyers said. They also said they were given “troublingly little notice” to respond.

                      Trump’s lawyers clashed with Engoron even before the suit was filed. When James went to court to enforce subpoenas during her three-year investigation, Engoron held Trump in contempt of court and fined him $10,000 a day for failing to properly comply. Trump has appealed that order, though he’s already paid a total of $110,000 in fines that are being held in escrow.

                      Trump has also railed against Engoron on his Truth Social site, calling the judge “a radical left lunatic” and a “partisan disaster.”
                      _________
                      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        The hits just keep on coming!
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Donald Trump ordered by judge to face New York fraud lawsuit

                          NEW YORK, Jan 6 (Reuters) - A New York judge on Friday said former U.S. President Donald Trump must face a lawsuit by the state's attorney general accusing him of fraudulently overvaluing his namesake real estate company's assets and his own net worth.

                          Attorney General Letitia James had sued Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka and the Trump Organization last September over an alleged scheme to inflate Trump's assets by billions of dollars through a decade of lies to banks and insurers, in what she called a "staggering" fraud.

                          Justice Arthur Engoron of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan rejected defense claims that James waited too long to sue, fell short of establishing fraud, and should have better justified the $250 million of damages she is seeking.

                          He also said Ivanka Trump could be sued despite her claims she had not falsified valuations and not worked for the Trump Organization since 2017, saying she could be liable for participating in "continuing wrongs."

                          The judge also decided not to sanction the defendants for making arguments including that James was pursuing a political "witch hunt" and lacked legal authority to sue.

                          "Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better," Engoron wrote nonetheless.

                          Lawyers for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

                          In a statement, James said Trump "engaged in years of extensive financial fraud to enrich himself and cheat the system," and must defend himself in court.

                          She also wants to stop the Trumps from running businesses in New York, and ban Trump and his company from acquiring real estate there for five years. An Oct. 2 trial is scheduled..

                          The lawsuit is one of many legal woes affecting Trump, who is seeking another term as president in 2024.

                          They include criminal investigations related to the FBI's seizure of government documents from his Florida home, and his role in efforts to overturn or interfere with 2020 presidential election results.

                          The Manhattan district attorney's office is also conducting a criminal probe relating to James' civil case, and the Trump Organization faces a Jan. 13 sentencing after being convicted of tax fraud in another New York case.
                          _______

                          A bad day for Cadet Bone Spurs is always a great day for democracy
                          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Why Trump loyalist went to prison rather than blame the boss




                            Former US President Donald Trump's long-serving chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has been sentenced to five months in jail for his role in a tax fraud scheme.

                            Weisselberg, 75, was given a shorter-than-expected jail term after agreeing to a plea deal in which he served as a prosecutor's witness against the Trump Organization.

                            But Mr Trump had little reason to fear that Weisselberg's testimony in the autumn trial would harm him or overshadow his announcement in mid-November that he was launching another run for president.

                            Indeed, as expected, his employee - who started with his father Fred Trump and who was one of the first to join his company in 1986 - remained loyal even under immense pressure.

                            While Mr Trump sounded off on social media, pinning the fraud scheme on Weisselberg, he continued to offer him his support in arguably more meaningful ways. Jurors heard how the Trump Organization was still paying Weisselberg his same salary under the title senior adviser, covering his legal fees, and recently celebrated his birthday in the office.

                            "In a normal organisation, a corrupt CFO would be terminated and thrown out the door," says Professor Maurice Schweitzer from the Wharton School of Business. "And you would want to separate and preserve the integrity of the institution. In this case, it's the exact opposite."

                            The trial provided a fascinating insight into the relationship between the loyal lieutenant and his boss - as well as prosecutors' efforts to try to turn one against the other by threatening Weisselberg with a lengthy sentence at Rikers Island.

                            Weisselberg is expected to report to the notorious New York prison to begin serving his sentence immediately.

                            His attorney, Nicholas Gravante, said after Tuesday's hearing: "He deeply regrets the lapse in judgment that resulted in his conviction, and he regrets it most because of the pain it has caused his loving wife, his sons and wonderful grandchildren."

                            Under the plea deal, Weisselberg admitted to 15 felonies including tax evasion, and must pay nearly $2m (£1.65m) in fines in addition to the five-month prison term.

                            But without the deal, he could have faced as much as 15 years in prison.

                            But despite prosecutors' focus on Mr Trump, Weisselberg refused to co-operate with the wider investigation into the former president and his business practices.

                            The question of what Mr Trump potentially knew about executives deceiving the tax authorities and not properly reporting benefits became a persistent and tricky one throughout the trial given he was not personally charged with wrongdoing.

                            Weisselberg prepared for his testimony with both the prosecution and the defence, an unusual arrangement. The Trump Organization's lawyers repeatedly argued during the trial that he was motivated by greed, and that "Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg". The defence strategy, in a nutshell, was that the former CFO was not shown the door because he was regarded as a family member, "a prodigal son".

                            Prosecutors throughout the trial carefully tried to extract concessions from Weisselberg to bolster their case, while also poking holes in his story that Mr Trump and the business knew nothing of his 15-year tax dodging scheme. They walked the jury through how Weisselberg joined Mr Trump from day one and rose from accountant to controller to CFO. He had deep knowledge of all of the financial workings of the business as it grew. His testimony was key to exposing corruption and fraud at the Trump Organization and gave insight into how the family operated.

                            On the stand, he teared up as he was asked: "Did you betray the trust that was placed in you?"

                            "I did," he answered.

                            Defence lawyer Alan Futerfas continued: "Are you embarrassed by what you did?"

                            "More than you can imagine," he replied.

                            The man who Mr Trump once described as tough to contestants on an episode of The Apprentice, his old reality show, appeared timid and nervous.

                            A source close to the case insists Weisselberg's testimony under oath was truthful and that he chose not to make up stories about Mr Trump. "That's just common moral decency. And it's also consistent with the rule of law, you should not make up lies about someone and then offer to give that testimony, which is perjury, just to improve your own legal situation after you have messed up in order to try to get a reduced sentence," the source told the BBC.

                            His determination to take blame, however, did not convince the jury, which unanimously decided to convict the Trump Organization. Nor did it convince former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner, who got the impression that the 75-year-old was very scared. "He was hoping to be able to placate Donald Trump by his testimony. And I took those tears to be self-pity for fear that he is going to be frozen out of Trump World," said Mr Epner.

                            Prof Schweitzer says the dynamics at play in this trial were in line with Mr Trump's management style, what academics refer to as a "dominant" leader.

                            "There's broadly two kinds of leaders, there are leaders who gain status because of their expertise and wisdom and capabilities, and there are leaders who maintain their positions of power because of dominance," says Prof Schweitzer.

                            "Basically, they pull levers of rewards and punishments to coerce or compel people to do what they want."

                            Mr Trump has been successful throughout his business and political career figuring out "loyalty levers to reward friends and hammer foes", says Prof Schweitzer.

                            The former president has a history of rewarding those who stand by him and attacking those who don't. Before he left office, he pardoned several of his former aides of their convictions, including his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, his ex-adviser Roger Stone and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

                            On social media, President Trump praised Manafort for not "breaking" like his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen and Manafort's deputy Rick Gates were convicted in the Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but both co-operated with prosecutors. They, to the surprise of no-one, did not get pardons from Mr Trump.


                            Weisselberg stands behind Mr Pence and the former president at Trump Tower in New York in 2017

                            The former president's treatment of Mike Pence is another example of how he places loyalty above other values. Mr Trump reportedly told the former vice-president not to "wimp out" and to not certify the results of the 2020 election, according to an excerpt from Mr Pence's book. He recounts Mr Trump asking him: "If it gives you the power, why would you oppose it?"

                            Prof Schweitzer says both Mr Trump and Weisselberg were shaped by the era of '80s New York and the mindset that greed is good. "Greed was celebrated and endorsed in a way that it is not today, we had different mindsets about this wild west of capitalism," he says. "Things that we are saying are illegal were common practice. These men really enjoyed the privileges that came with being a very powerful, wealthy person in the 1980s who were not constrained by the rules that bound the rest of us."

                            Mr Epner agrees. "The New York real estate business has been a dirty business for not decades, but centuries. And he [Mr Trump] was part and parcel of the dirty part of the NY real estate business and then he shone the biggest spotlight in the world on himself [with the presidency]."

                            On the final day of the trial, Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Joshua Steinglass said during closing statements that the evidence had shown that Mr Trump knew exactly what was going on. He reminded the jury of that evidence, including a memo the former president initialled authorising a pay cut for another executive for the exact amount of his perk, rent paid by the company.

                            "Mr Trump explicitly sanctioning tax fraud! That's what this document shows," Mr Steinglass said.

                            To many, it begged the question why the former president, who built his entire reputation and bravado off the back of his namesake company, wasn't charged, too. The Manhattan District Attorney's office says investigations into Mr Trump are ongoing.
                            ________
                            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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                            • #44
                              Oh, what a crock of bullshit. Simply one capo going to prison, for a short time, to protect the crime boss.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Donald Trump's company sentenced to pay $1.61 million penalty for tax fraud

                                NEW YORK (Reuters) -A New York judge on Friday sentenced Donald Trump's namesake real estate company to pay a $1.61 million criminal penalty after it was convicted of scheming to defraud tax authorities for 15 years.

                                Justice Juan Merchan of the Manhattan criminal court imposed the sentence, the maximum possible under state law, after jurors found two Trump Organization affiliates guilty of 17 criminal charges last month.

                                Merchan on Tuesday sentenced Allen Weisselberg, who worked for Trump's family for a half-century and was the company's former chief financial officer, to five months in jail after he testified as the prosecution's star witness.

                                Susan Necheles, one of the defense lawyers, said Trump's company plans to appeal. No one else was charged.

                                Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office brought the case, is still conducting a criminal probe into Trump's business practices.

                                "The sentencing today, along with the sentencing earlier this week, closes this important chapter of our ongoing investigation into the former president and his businesses," Bragg told reporters. "We now will go on to the next chapter."

                                Joshua Steinglass, one of the prosecutors, appeared to lament the size of the punishment, telling Merchan the penalty was only a "tiny portion" of the Trump Organization's revenue.

                                Companies cannot be sentenced to jail or prison.

                                'ROUNDING ERROR'

                                Bill Black, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law specializing in white-collar crime, called the penalty a "rounding error" that offers "zero" deterrence.

                                "This is a farce," he said. "No one will stop committing these kinds of crimes because of this sentence."

                                The case has long been a thorn in the side of the Republican former president, who calls it part of a witch hunt by Democrats who dislike him and his politics.

                                Trump also faces a $250 million civil lawsuit by state Attorney General Letitia James accusing him and his adult children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric of inflating his net worth and his company's asset values to save on loans and insurance.

                                Bragg and James are Democrats, as is Bragg's predecessor Cyrus Vance, who brought the criminal case. Trump is seeking the presidency in 2024, after losing his re-election bid in 2020.

                                FRAUD 'SANCTIONED FROM THE TOP DOWN'

                                At a four-week trial, prosecutors offered evidence that Trump's company covered personal expenses such as rent and car leases for executives without reporting them as income, and pretended that Christmas bonuses were non-employee compensation.

                                Trump himself signed bonus checks, prosecutors said, as well as the lease on Weisselberg's luxury Manhattan apartment and private school tuition for the CFO's grandchildren.

                                "A number of these fraudulent practices were explicitly sanctioned from the top down," Steinglass said at Friday's hearing.

                                Despite testifying for the government, Weisselberg said Trump was not part of the fraud scheme, and refused to help Bragg in his broader investigation into the former president.

                                The Trump Organization had put Weisselberg on paid leave until they severed ties this week. His lawyer said the split, announced on Tuesday, was amicable.

                                Weisselberg, 75, is serving his sentence in New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail.

                                Trump faces several other legal woes, including probes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, his retention of classified documents after leaving the White House and efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
                                ________

                                It is a farce, just as Prof. Black said. But the Trump Organization is now officially a toxic criminal enterprise....instead of merely being known as a criminal enterprise by pretty much anybody paying attention.

                                To quote Churchill, I suspect that this is the "end of the beginning" of Trump's downfall.
                                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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