Donald Trump
Everything To Know As The Trump Organization Tax Fraud Trial Begins Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

In the latest development in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial, prosecutors rested their case on Monday earlier than expected.

The prosecutors are pinning hopes for convicting former President's Donald Trump’s company mostly on the word of two top executives. They had cut deals before testifying that they schemed to avoid taxes on perks that were paid by the company, reported the Associated Press. For the bulk of the prosecution’s eight-day case, Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's longtime finance chief, and Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice-president and controller, testified.

Weisselberg had pleaded guilty in August to dodging taxes on $1.7 million in extras, and was required to testify as a prosecution witness. It was a part of a plea deal in exchange for a promised sentence of five months in prison. As for McConney, he was granted immunity to testify.

Lawyers of Trump's company opened their defense by calling to the witness stand an accountant. The person handled tax returns and other financial matters for the former President, the firm and several entities of Trump since the 1980s.

Donald Bender, who is a partner at Mazars USA LLP, said that McConney would call him “numerous times” a week about various tax issues. He shared that he got emails from Weisselberg very often. It was so often that he even made time to respond while he was away in the mountains or vacationing in Paris.

Bender said that his interactions with Trump were far. He added that once Trump became the President in 2017, he would visit him twice a year at the White House. The meetings were held so that he could sign his tax extensions and returns. But those visits ended when the Covid-19 pandemic started.

Weisselberg acted on his own and that Bender should have spotted his actions, lawyers of Trump's company told jurors in opening statements on Oct. 31, reported Reuters.

Trump also blamed Bender and Mazars for his company’s troubles, according to The Guardian. He wrote on his Truth Social platform last week that the "highly paid accounting firm should have routinely picked these things up – we relied on them."

The Trump Organization operates golf courses, hotels and other real estate across the globe. It is accused of hiding executive perks from tax authorities for more than a decade. It also allegedly falsely reported bonuses as non-employee compensation. The company has pleaded not guilty, but it could face up to $1.6 million in fines if convicted.

Donald Trump
Former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in support of Doug Mastriano for Governor and Mehmet Oz for US Senate at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on September 3, 2022. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

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