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The indictments of the business and its CFO allege not some minor technical mistakes, but blatant violations of the law. If the facts alleged in yesterday’s indictment are true, the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have engaged in blatant tax evasion for more than a decade. Early reports characterized the crime in question as involving “fringe benefits.” This gives entirely the wrong impression. The Trump Organization and Weisselberg aren’t being charged with tripping over some hyper-technical provision on the margins of the tax system. They are being charged with blatantly violating basic tax-law requirements — and bilking New York State and New York City out of hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way. Probably the strongest allegation relates to an apartment on Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan where Weisselberg lives with his wife. According to the indictment, the Trump Corporation — one of the Trump Organization’s many business entities — paid roughly $100,000 a year in rent, utility bills, and garage expenses for this apartment starting in 2005.

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