Donald Bender, a former accountant for former President Donald Trump testified that Trump had reported roughly $1 billion in losses for a period of two years as well as annual losses for almost 10 years. He is a partner of the firm Mazars USA, the firm that prepared the tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization, until February 2022. He also denied that he knew about Alan Weisselberg wrongdoings, whose tax returns were also handled by him. The company stopped filing these returns due to alleged false statements by Trump about his financial conditions.
Donald Bender was testifying in Manhattan Supreme Court, as a part of the criminal investigations into the tax fraud case against the Trump Organization. His answers to the jury were reported by multiple outlets
When asked by the prosecutor Susan Hoffinger about the major losses as a part of the cross examination of roughly $200 million on Trump’s personal tax returns in 2010, he said “I believe so.”
When asked if Trump had reported losses of $700 million in his personal tax returns in 2009, Bender answered, “Sounds about right.”
Hoffinger also asked if the former president had reported losses for a period of almost ten years from 2009 to 2018, he replied, “There are losses for all these years.”
These statements seem to corroborate a report in the New York Times, in September 2020 that mentioned that Trump showed a series of losses in his tax returns. It also noted that Trump paid $750 in federal income tax, due to these losses.
Donald Bender also testified that he was unaware of the wrongdoings by Weisselberg. He said that the Trump Organization’s “secret” lists of bonus payments for Christmas would have shocked him had he seen it.
Internal records of how the company paid bonuses were kept. Some of them had a title “The Trump Organization Christmas Bonuses.”
Bender told the Manhattan jury, “I probably would have had a heart attack.” (If he would have seen it).
Trump has not been named as a defendant but the Trump Organization is facing the tax fraud charges. It can be convicted and if so, it would have to pay a hefty fine of about $1.6 million.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s tax returns have to be given to the Congressional committee which has been asking for these records, since three years.
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