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Trump is trying to hide assets. Who would have thunk it?

The Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation, Donald Trump’s business entities, were found guilty earlier this month on charges of criminal tax fraud. During the investigation, an independent monitor was appointed to oversee the company’s finances, and a judge has now denied Trump’s efforts to evade that oversight.

Retired Judge Barbara Jones was appointed in November to carry out the mission of oversight, and Trump responded quickly by filing a lawsuit in his home state of Florida, attempting to protect certain specific funds — his revokable trust — from oversight.

U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks has ruled that Trump cannot hide these records, particularly after the guilty verdict for the Trump Organization.

Trump argued that the contents and documentation of the trust, which include information about settling his estate after his death, are private matters under Florida law, and cannot be disclosed legally.

He also argues that he has an “unfettered right to own, acquire, transfer, or dispose of property, personally or in the Trust,” and that Attorney General James is interfering with the ability to do so.

Even in his lawsuit, the former president tries to make a case that this is all persecution based on James’ feelings about him being elected in 2016, and “perhaps more importantly” because he outranks other candidates in polls for 2024.

Of course, it’s hard to maintain that claim after his companies were found guilty in a court that examined the evidence.

“The Trump Organization has already been found guilty by a New-York jury of several counts of tax fraud,” U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks noted in an eight-page ruling. “To now impede a civil Enforcement Action by the New York Attorney General would be unprecedented and contrary to the interests of the people of New York,” Law & Crime reported.

The Trump Organization won’t face sentencing until mid-January, at which point it could order restitution over $1.6 million, and Trump himself, as well as his adult children involved in the business, are still facing their own $250 million lawsuit from A.G. James, CNN reports, which won’t go to trial until October 2023.

That’s a hefty reason to maintain oversight of funds and assets that could be moved or hidden in the meantime.

glennlab 10 Dec 23
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