Report Alleges Trump Organization Used Bribes To Lower City Tax Assessments Of Properties
The Trump Organization allegedly hired middle-men to transfer bribe payments to New York City tax assessment officials in the 1980s and 1990s in order to reduce the companies property tax costs.
That’s according to a new report from a government watchdog, which confirmed the allegations by interviewing former officials, two of which admitted they were directly involved in the scheme, according to The Daily Beast.
Two of the five officials that ProPublica spoke with made the admission, while the three other officials said they knew about the bribes in an indirect way, per the report the group published on Wednesday.
ProPublica made sure to explain in its reporting that there’s no direct evidence tying Trump directly to the bribes. But one former Trump Organization employee said the former business mogul (and now president) was involved in setting up a meeting at least one time between one of the middle-men and another company employee.
A Trump Organization legal officer responded to the article by saying, “At no time did the Trump Organization or any of its employees or principals ever pay anyone for the purpose of unlawfully obtaining a lower tax valuation.”
The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and a former Trump Organization employee. https://t.co/ESaOr7auCL
— Derek Cressman (@DerekCressman) March 11, 2020
Trump has been accused of being part of schemes like these to avoid taxes in the past. A New York Times investigation from 2018, for instance, found that Trump’s father, Fred Trump, avoided paying taxes on more than $400 million through tax schemes or “dodges” by inappropriately transferring the money to his son over the course of several decades.
Trump’s former fixer lawyer also alleged, before he was placed in prison himself, that Trump intentionally inflated or deflated the value of his assets in a fraudulent manner in a number of documents in order to benefit himself financially, including devaluing his properties’ worth in property tax documents in order to pay less in taxes.
Another report from ProPublica appeared to confirm Cohen’s accusations.
Over the past several years, in the run-up to his election and beyond his inauguration, Trump has refused to turn over copies of his personal tax documents for the American people to examine, despite making a campaign promise to do so once an audit had completed. The IRS has gone on the record of stating that audits do not prevent candidates running for office from sharing their tax information with the public.
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