Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
Back in November 2020, after investigations into decades of Donald Trump's tax returns revealed the former president didn't seem to ever pay any taxes, reports came out in The New York Times detailing inquiries being made by the New York district attorney's office concerning "consulting fees" Ivanka Trump pulled in over the years. A reported $747,622 of these fees were paid to Ivanka by way of a company she co-owned, and appeared within the $26 million in "deductions" claimed by Donald Trump over the years. Whether there were more "consulting fees" received by Ivanka or any of the other Trump offspring was not reported, but considering what we know about the Trumps, speculating that the answer is a resounding and very provable yes seems like a safe bet.
Now that prosecutors have charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg with contributing to (and benefiting from) a tax fraud scheme, Weisselberg's financial compensation from the company he helped run seems to have been very clearly set up to hide taxable income. Prosecutors reportedly have two sets of books used by the Trump Organization over the years to delineate how they were scamming the government out of taxes. Since that time it has become clear that even more Trump tax information has been seized by investigators, and what those documents might detail remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, to all who are paying attention: Ivanka Trump and other family members tied to the Trump Organization are clearly under investigation as well.
When the Times story came out in November 2020, Ivanka tweeted, "This is harassment pure and simple." Not unlike her father, Ivanka seems to use her Twitter account to whine about being persecuted while lying about things in general. One of the more problematic aspects of Ivanka's $747,622 consulting fee that appeared on a 2017 disclosure form is that"Ivanka was an executive officer of the Trump companies that made the payments." This means she received consultant tax breaks for a company of which she was also a full-time employee. It's an old-timey tax dodge.
On Monday, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne gave MSNBC her opinions on what investigators were doing now that Weisselberg has been charged, saying, "Prosecutors went to an amazing amount of effort to show Weisselberg 'we have everything we need,' and they're really not only pressuring him to flip, but the amount of detail in this indictment tells me that they're trying to tell other people you have got to flip, because 'we have everything; we have the double books. We know what you told your tax accountants was a lie. We know that we're gonna be able to prove these cases.'" She went on to say that while we don't know exactly who the unnamed individuals inside of the Weisselberg indictments are, they are likely the next people who will receive the New York prosecutors' legal attentions. "We've heard a lot of this reporting about Ivanka Trump getting consulting fees, consulting fees for things she may or may not have done. That looks to be the next place," said Alksne. "We'll just have to see."
Donald Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio told CNN that the Trump Organization's dirty dealings don't take the highest level of investigation to uncover, calling much of the corruption "all so obvious." D'Antonio explained that the most shocking aspect of the multimillion-dollar organization's tax dodging is "how unsophisticated it is. This is just simple greed, the kind of things almost anyone could imagine, and the minute [prosecutors] went looking for it they found it."
"The other person who I think is in peril is Ivanka Trump. One of the things that Allen Weisselberg is in trouble for is taking money as a contractor and then claiming self-employed status so that he can get some of the retirement benefits that the tax code allows for self-employed people. Well, we know that Ivanka Trump got quite significant sums paid to her as non-employee compensation. That freed the Trump Organization from paying part of her taxes, and it put her in a status that I think the IRS would have lots of questions about. So, these folks don't know how to play the game straight. I think everything they do is crooked," D'Antonio said.
On Saturday, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had this insight into Donald Trump.
You can watch Trump's biographer D'Antonio talking about the Trump family's legal problems on July 4, and below that you can watch former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne talking about what might be happening next for the Trump gang.
Trump biographer Ivanka's tax issues www.youtube.com
Former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne talks about the Trump family's potential tax fraud problems www.youtube.com
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