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Trump Organization could face criminal charges – see why

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Trump Organization could face criminal charges – see why
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Trump Organization could face criminal charges – see why

According to multiple reports, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has informed lawyers for former President Donald Trump that his company could face charges for violating tax laws relating to benefits it awarded to top executives. Indictments reportedly could come as soon as this week, both of the company itself, and of the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. Prosecutors have also reportedly been investigating whether the company improperly understated the value of various assets or underreported profits in order to avoid paying state taxes on them.

While the former president’s company styles itself as a large, multinational behemoth, in reality it is a collection of individual Limited Liability Corporations that since 2017 have been owned by a trust which benefits Mr Trump, and is controlled by him, his adult sons, and Mr Weisselberg.

Prosecutors working for District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr have been investigating the former president and his business dealings since at least 2019, when Mr Vance issued a subpoena for the Trump Organization’s tax records to Mazars USA – the company’s accounting firm – and Deutsche Bank, which for years was the only lender willing to do business with Mr Trump or his company.

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Mr Trump, the first US chief executive in decades to refuse to release his own personal tax returns, was able to keep the subpoenaed documents from being turned over to Mr Vance’s office for the entirety of his presidency, despite a 7-2 Supreme Court decision which rejected his defence of “absolute immunity” from criminal investigation. But his run of success at delaying enforcement of the subpoena ran out just over a month after he was evicted from the White House, and after the Supreme Court declined to hear yet another of his appeals, Mazars turned over communications, financial statements, engagement agreements, and other documents relating to the preparation of returns dating from 2011 to 2019.

Prosecutors are reportedly eyeing charges pertaining to how the company accounted for benefits paid to executives, including housing, transportation, and even tuition to an expensive private school. Mr Weisselberg has been the focus of Mr Vance’s office for some time, and he is reportedly facing charges for alleged violations of tax law pertaining to the same benefits.

Why would prosecutors indict the Trump Organization instead of Mr Trump?

According to Nick Akerman, a former federal prosecutor and former partner at the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney, the fact that Mr Vance and Ms James are choosing to pursue an indictment of the Trump Organization itself is a good sign that the potential case against the former president is not strong enough. Prosecutors have reportedly been pushing Mr Weisselberg to cooperate with the investigation of Mr Trump, but the long-time company executive has so far refused.

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“The fact that they’re going after him and the company means they really don’t have enough to go after Trump, because if they did, they would,” said Mr Akerman.

While Mr Weisselberg could face the possibility of a long prison term if indicted and convicted, a corporation convicted of violating criminal law can be forced to pay penalties, but there’s no way to put a company in prison.

But as Mr Akerman explained, a provision of New York State law which spells out penalties for corporations convicted of crimes could leave Mr Trump to face something that could be almost as painful for him as a prison term: bankruptcy.

“It could be devastating for him,” Mr Akerman said. “First of all, it gets pretty bad because they’ve got creditors – they’ve got a lot of banks that they’ve borrowed money from, and if the company is indicted, all those banks are going to get nervous and start calling in their loans”.

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He added that because of the nature of the Trump Organization’s business – a hotel and golf course operator which has suffered along with the rest of the hospitality industry during the Covid-19 pandemic – it would not have the cash on hand to pay creditors if all of the company’s loans came due at once.

“It could wind up forcing the company into bankruptcy,” he said.

Moreover, Mr Akerman said a public trial would end up placing that which Mr Trump has spent years trying to keep hidden – his tax returns – into the public record as evidence.

And while Mr Trump might avoid prison, Mr Akerman predicted that having his finances exposed and his company bankrupted could complicate any plans he might have to make another run for the White House.

“It would be worse for him to be indicted criminally, but this is not a resume builder.

Independent.co.uk

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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change
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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

He told them they face “the most important period in the history of the planet” as he prepares to get them to thrash out an agreement to save the world.

The PM faces an uphill struggle ahead of his summit as India, the US, China and dozens of our own allies are still failing to do enough to tackle climate change – or cough up enough cash to stop it.

Top experts slammed big beasts for dragging their heels in setting tough emissions targets to stop the planet changing beyond all recognition.

Mr Johnson turned his fire on his own pals in the G20, urging them “show the leadership the world needs” and “do our duty by others less fortunate than ourselves” to make his COP26 summit a roaring success.

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He told the Major Economies Forum yesterday they must come together with “rock solid commitments” to “protect our planet and protect humanity for a thousand years to come”.

And rich nations must “get serious about filling the $100billion pot that the developing world needs to do its bit”, he demanded, after it was revealed it was still $20billion short.

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

Experts at the UN said that the goals set so far this year will not close the emissions gap – meaning the world is likely to miss targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Under countries’ current pledges, global emissions will be 16 per cent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010 – far off the 45 per cent reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous and irreversible climate change.

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Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and China were among a handful of countries rated “critically insufficient” or “highly insufficient” by a recent climate tracker.

Even the EU, Germany and Norway were rapped as not doing enough to meet the Paris agreement goals.

The PM and President Biden will twist arms at the UN General Assembly summit in New York next week, where climate change is expected to be the number one issue on the agenda for the UK, which is hosting the global summit.

The PM and climate tsar Alok Sharma have been rallying countries to raise cash and submit new plans in the run up to the summit, where 100 world leaders have said they will attend, but efforts have been hampered by big nations dragging their feet.

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Mr Sharma said yesterday the frank reports were a “stark reminder of how urgent our work is ahead of COP26”.

He stressed: “This is a clear wake-up call for all of us – we need to act.” Downing Street said the PM was “disappointed there hasn’t been as much progress recently as there should have been”.

The Prime Minister also set out that the UK will be among the first signatories of the Global Methane Pledge, a US-EU initiative to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to levels during the 2020s.

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Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

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Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials
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Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

Afghanistan’s Taliban-controlled central bank said it had seized nearly $12.4 million in cash and gold from former top government officials on Wednesday, including former vice president Amrullah Saleh.

In a statement, the central bank said the money and gold had been kept in officials’ houses, although it did not yet know for what purpose.

Saleh’s whereabouts are unknown.

He has vowed to resist the Taliban, who stormed to power a month ago, and last week a family member said the Taliban had executed his brother Rohullah Azizi.

In a separate statement, the bank urged Afghans to use the country’s local Afghani currency. It comes amid growing worries that the country’s banks and firms are running short of money, especially dollars, which are widely used.

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Taliban seize $12.4m from former top Afghan officials

In a sign that the Taliban are looking to recoup assets belonging to former government officials, the central bank issued a circular to local banks last week asking them to freeze the accounts of politically exposed individuals linked to the previous government, two commercial bankers said.

Vanguardngr.com

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‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

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'Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,' Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss
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‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

The list of influential figures cut across icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and innovators.

American news magazine, Time, has named Nigeria’s former minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was named alongside world leaders like United States President, Joe Biden, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in Time’s September 15 publication.

She tweeted moments after the publication that she was ‘honored and privileged’ to have made the cover of the magazine.

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In an appraisal penned by Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they applauded her role in campaigning for equitable vaccine access across the world.

The Archewell founders noted that the world’s hope to defeat COVID-19 through vaccines rests on the shoulders of leaders like Okonjo-Iweala.

‘Okonjo-Iweala knows how to get things done,’ Prince Harry, Meghan praise WTO boss

“Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energising.

“This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms,” the Duke and Duchess wrote.

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Okonjo-Iweala made history in March when she officially started her tenure as the WTO DG, the first woman and first African to do so.

“Vaccine inequity is the most important issue to tackle right now in this pandemic because it determines how we’re going to recover globally, and how many lives we save.

“With the variants that are mutating and the number of people dying, it is unacceptable that when you have the technology to save lives, some people don’t have access,” the 67-year-old told Time.

Wednesday’s list also had names of leaders like U.S. vice president, Kamala Harris, Indian president, Narendra Modi, as well as influential figures like Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Dolly Parton, and the Duke and Duchess themselves.

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The list of influential figures cut across icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and innovators.

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