The U.S. government took down notorious criminal Al Capone in the 1920s not over his numerous alleged murders or 1929’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre but over tax evasion. Are the feds now trying to do the same with former president Donald Trump?
Even before leaving the White House Trump was the subject of several investigations over possible illegal activity, but some observers say the thing that might actually nab him is the current tax investigation going on in New York. Will he have the same fate as Capone.
On June 16, 1931, Capone pleaded guilty to tax evasion and prohibition charges. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000.
Attorney General of New York Letitia James accuses the Trump Organization a 15-year tax fraud scheme and of using “fraudulent or misleading asset valuations” to get loans, insurance, and tax breaks. Trump was deposed on Aug. 10 but refused to answer questions. He declined and decided to plead his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
James opened a civil inquiry in 2019 into claims that Trump had inflated the value of his assets to banks when seeking loans. The case involves six of Trump’s properties in New York and Scotland and the “Trump brand.” The allegations happened, said James, before Trump took office as President of the United States. Since then, Trump has been legally fighting to stop the investigation and proceedings and has verbally attacked James and her office.
James also filed a civil case separate from an ongoing criminal investigation in Manhattan into the organization’s business practices, the BBC reported.
With Aug. 8’s unprecedented raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents, the walls seem to be closing in on the defiant former president. But it may be his taxes that take him down, observers speculate.
On Aug. 12, A New York state judge denied the Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg motions to dismiss tax fraud charges.
Judge Juan Merchan did grant a hearing to hear arguments over whether statements Weisselberg made while in custody the day of his arrest in July 2021 could be suppressed. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted in 2021.
The judge said jury selection would begin in the trial on October 24, CNN reported.
Photo: Al Capone at a football game in Chicago, Jan. 19, 1931. (AP Photo) / Donald Trump campaigns on April 17, 2016, in Staten Island, New York City. (File Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx) / Aerial view of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)