Report: Trump Organization held in contempt in tax fraud case for “wilfully disobeying” subpoenas

Report: Trump Organization held in contempt in tax fraud case for “wilfully disobeying” subpoenas
Former President Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Former President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, last month. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Trump Organization was found in criminal contempt by a Manhattan judge following a secret one-day trial in 2021 during a tax fraud investigation, the New York Times first reported Tuesday.

Driving the news: Judge Juan Merchan ordered entities of former President Trump’s family business pay $4,000 in fines for the violations for “wilfully disobeying four Grand Jury subpoenas” and three court orders, according to the ruling, which was unsealed on Tuesday.

  • The names of the company and its entities were redacted, along with other elements of the order, but the NYT and outlets including Bloomberg and CNN confirmed it was the Trump Organization.

Details: “Despite clear warnings, the Company missed deadline after deadline, never moving to quash subpoenas and never seeking Court intervention. Some subpoenas went largely ignored and another was ignored entirely,” wrote Merchan in the order, dated Dec. 8, 2021.

  • Lawyers for the entities argued at the time that they did not comply with the subpoenas due to the “unreasonably short” timeframe “given the scope and breadth of the demands,” according to the order.

The big picture: The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg were charged in 2021 with tax-related offenses, including paying executives with “off the books” compensation, such as apartments and luxury cars. Trump called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

  • Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to tax violations and Trump Organization entities the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation were convicted earlier this month in the case.
  • Representatives for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

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