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Donald Trump’s company and its longtime finance chief were charged Thursday in what a prosecutor called a “sweeping and audacious” tax fraud scheme that saw the Trump executive allegedly receive more than $1.7 million US in off-the-books compensation, including apartment rent, car payments and school tuition. It is the first criminal case that has resulted from a two-year investigation into the former president by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. According to the indictment, from 2005 through this year, the Trump Organization and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg cheated the state and city out of taxes by conspiring to pay senior executives, Weisselberg included, off the books, by way of lucrative fringe benefits and other means. In announcing the grand jury indictment, Carey Dunne, the top prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, said; “Politics has no role in the jury chamber, and I can assure you it had no role here.”

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