The Trump Organization's tax fraud trial is set to conclude on Thursday with the closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecutors. It is the culmination of a years-long investigation into the former president's company and his financial dealings.
After the defense rested its case on Monday, the prosecutors called two witnesses to testify. The judge in the case, Juan Merchan, scheduled closing arguments for Thursday and Friday. The jury will then begin deliberations on Monday.
The prosecutors claim that the Trump Organization used its corporate funds to pay for the personal expenses of its executives. These expenses included the rent and car lease payments.
They also claim that the Trump Organization used its employees as independent contractors instead of employees.
To successfully convict the Trump Organization of tax fraud, the prosecutors must prove that the actions taken by its managers benefited the company in some way. They also have to show that the managers who took these actions were acting in their company's best interest. However, the judge noted earlier this year that the law doesn't clearly define what “in behalf of” means.
The Trump Organization has pleaded innocent to the charges. In their defense, the lawyers have pointed the finger at Allen Weissberg, the former chief financial of the company.
In August, Weisselberg admitted to participating in the scheme and said that he had received illegal compensation from the company. He then concealed the payments from the company's outside accountants. His actions came under scrutiny after Donald Trump became the president.
If the company is found guilty on all of the charges, it could face a fine of up to $1.6 million. The charges came as Trump was running for a third White House term. Trump has also called the trial a political witch hunt.
The criminal trial of the Trump Organization is separate from an investigation being conducted by the New York Attorney General, who has accused the company of violating various state laws. In September, James filed a civil lawsuit against the Trump Organization. It could take months for the case to go through the legal system in New York.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.