Former President Donald Trump reported losses on his tax returns each year for a decade – including close to $1 billion in a two-year span alone, his onetime accountant testified at trial this week.
Donald Bender, a partner at accounting firm Mazars USA, took the stand in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday as part of the criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization.
From 2009 to 2018, Bender said he filed 76-year-old Trump’s taxes and “There are losses for all these years.”
Bender – who was called as the first defense witness and was given immunity for testifying before a grand jury – admitted upon questioning from prosecutors that in 2009 and 2010 alone Trump reported losing close to $1 billion.
“Do you recall in 2010 Donald Trump had losses of almost $200 million on his personal tax returns?” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Susan Hoffinger asked.
“I believe so,” Bender replied.
“Do you recall in 2009, Donald Trump had, his personal tax returns had losses around $700 million?” Hoffinger asked.
“Sounds about right,” the accountant said.
The testimony provided information about Trump’s tax returns, which the ex-president has long tried to keep hidden. On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s tax returns must be given to the Congressional committee that’s been seeking the records for three years.
Mazars prepped the Trump Org’s taxes until it split with the real estate company in February after finding that statements the ex-president made about his financials were unreliable.
Bender said he also personally handled the taxes for ex-Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg for several years.
He denied being aware that the company allegedly paid the exec cushy perks for 12 years – including rent, utilities, parking garage fees, thousands in Christmas tips to his doorman and furniture for his Florida home.
Hoffinger asked how Bender was sure that he’d never seen evidence of the alleged off-the-books compensation for Weisselberg and other top managers.
“Because I probably would’ve had a heart attack,” Bender responded.
The Trump Org is accused of cheating tax authorities for 15 years by funding the top company execs with the unreported extra compensation. If found guilty, the company could face $1.6 million in fines. Trump is not personally charged in the case.
He copped to taking $1.7 million in perks that he didn’t report on his taxes, including rent on an Upper West Side apartment, luxury cars and tuition for his grandkids private school. He is set to receive five months behind bars as part of his plea agreement.