What about the strengths themselves? – The New York Times
Donald Trump’s company has long been engaged in aggressive accounting maneuvers of classifying many of its executives’ personal expenses as business expenses.
Trump’s residences are considered part of the business. His plane too. Over $ 70,000 to pay for her haircuts fell into the same category, as did almost $ 100,000 to a hairstylist and makeup artist Ivanka Trump. The company has even classified an area in suburban New York that Eric Trump once called “a retreat for the Trump family” as an investment property, as a Times investigation revealed last year.
These practices have allowed Trumps to reduce their tax bill because business expenses are not subject to the same taxes as personal income. Some experts say the scheme amounts to tax evasion, while Trump has long insisted the company did nothing wrong.
Yesterday the Manhattan District Attorney said the company, known as the Trump Organization, had crossed the line of illegality on dozens of occasions and accused it of a spreading fraud scheme. over 16 years. The charges do not relate to the Trump family’s expenses like residences and haircuts; instead, they focus on the company’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has also been personally indicted.
But the common theme – aggressively treating personal expenses like business expenses, sometimes legally and sometimes not – is clear.
It’s still unclear whether Trump or his children will ever face charges, but it seems possible. “These investigations are operating in stages, and there is no indication that the investigation is drawing to a close,” Ben Protess, who was covering the investigation, told us. “Once you indict the CFO and the company, it’s basically just Donald Trump himself.”
While many legal scholars believe that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, a former president clearly can.
A central question is whether Weisselberg – who is 73 and started working as an accountant for Donald Trump, Donald’s father half a century ago – will remain loyal to the family, as he did until ‘now. If he chooses to cooperate with investigators instead, it could put the Trump family at substantial legal risk.
Politically, there is a big difference between the case ending with yesterday’s charges and Trump himself facing charges. Evidence of Trump’s questionable business practices – including using his presidency to help his business – has done little to change the perspective of his political supporters. Tackling criminal charges, however, could take a lot of Trump’s time and attention and complicate any potential presidential campaign in 2024.
“On the other hand,” said colleague Maggie Haberman, “Trump allies say he will hesitate to say he won’t run for office until the investigation is complete. on its current course for the foreseeable future. ”
Yesterday in court, Carey Dunne, a senior member of the district attorney’s office, described the behavior of the Trump organization as “a sweeping and daring illegal payments program.” The indictment claims the company gave Weisselberg $ 1.7 million in benefits which it recorded as compensation in an internal spreadsheet, but considered its books to avoid Taxes. Weisselberg also failed to mention some of the payments in his own tax returns. (Here’s a more detailed explanation from The Times about the charges.)
Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have said he will fight the charges. Lawyers for the Trump Organization issued a statement calling the charges politically motivated: “This case indicates that it is now time for local prosecutors to target federal political opponents and adversaries. “
Among the charges in the indictment:
The Trump Organization spent nearly $ 1.2 million in tax-free income to allow Weisselberg and his wife to live in an apartment on the Hudson River. While living there, Weisselberg also hid the fact that he was a New York City resident, which allowed him to evade municipal taxes.
The company paid for two members of Weisselberg’s family to attend Columbia Prep, a private school in Manhattan, at a cost of $ 359,000. Trump personally signed some of the checks.
The company illegally paid for two Mercedes-Benz cars for Weisselberg and his wife, as well as beds, televisions and carpet installation for his and his children’s home.
The company gave – and hid – money to Weisselberg, which he used as a vacation tip.
For more: The accusations could hurt Trump’s finances. The indictments can jeopardize relationships with the banks, and Trump has large loans outstanding.
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Euro 2020, finally
The quarter-finals of the Euro 2020 football tournament are today and tomorrow. (The event, like the Toyko Olympics, was postponed but kept its name from 2020.)
Winning is big business in Europe: only 10 countries have done it since the first tournament, in 1960, Germany, Spain and France having won more than once.
This year’s month-long event is scattered across the continent with different cities hosting games. Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ukraine and England are still in the race.
Predicting a winner is difficult. Belgium has a golden generation, but its defense is aging. Spain pass the ball well, even if sometimes, perhaps, too much. England, chasing their first title, appear to be regaining strength, beating Germany in the round of 16 of a major tournament for the first time in 55 years. And many of the initial favorites – including Portugal, France and the Netherlands – have already been eliminated.
Finally, there is a mascot. His name is Skillzy.