Trump Organization lost secret criminal contempt trial
(The Hill) – The Trump Organization was held in criminal contempt in a secret trial last fall for failing to comply with several grand jury subpoenas and court orders related to a criminal tax fraud investigation, according to court documents unsealed on Tuesday.
Former President Trump’s company was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine for “willfully disobeying” four subpoenas and three court orders following the one-day contempt trial in October 2021.
“The record is clear that the company failed to produce responsive documents without explanation,” Judge Juan Merchan said in his December 2021 order, first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday.
“Despite clear warnings, the Company missed deadline after deadline, never moving to quash subpoenas and never seeking Court intervention,” he added. “Some subpoenas went largely ignored and another was ignored entirely.”
The Trump Organization was found guilty of criminal tax fraud last week for providing company executives with luxury perks in a yearslong scheme to evade taxes. The company could face up to $1.6 million in fines.
While the former president himself was not on trial, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office sought to show Trump’s role in the scheme.
Merchan ruled at the end of the trial to unseal the December 2021 court order, determining it to be “of significant public concern,” according to CNN.
Trump was also held in contempt of court earlier this year for failing to comply with a subpoena in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil probe into the Trump Organization. The contempt charge was eventually lifted.
James sued Trump and his three adult children for business fraud in September, accusing the Trump family of manipulating its property values to secure investments and tax and loan benefits.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the newly unsealed court order.