An accountant for former President Trump has testified that the former president reported major losses on his tax returns every year for a decade, including a $700 million loss in 2009.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Donald Bender, who has served as Trump’s accountant and prepared Trump’s personal tax returns for years, testified in the criminal tax fraud trial against the Trump Organization that Trump lost money in every year from 2009 to 2018.
The losses include net operating losses from some of the businesses he owns through the Trump Organization.
“There are losses for all these years,” Bender said.
Bender was granted immunity to testify at the trial.
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The Trump Organization is facing dual probes from the Manhattan district attorney and New York attorney general’s offices over potential financial misdeeds.
In Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) criminal probe, in which Bender testified, the Trump Organization has been charged with helping top executives avoid paying income taxes on the compensation they received on top of their salaries.
Former CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 charges he faced for tax evasion in August. But has said that he came up with the plan alone, without Trump or his family knowing, the AP reported.
Bender’s testimony came on the same day that the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Trump to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his tax returns. House Democrats and Trump have been engaged in a battle over obtaining the returns for years.
Trump refused to publicly release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential election, as is normal for most major presidential candidates, saying that he was under audit. But IRS regulations do not prevent someone from releasing their returns while under audit.
House Democrats have said they need to investigate how the IRS conducts routine presidential audits, while Trump’s lawyers have denounced their attempts as politically motivated.
Despite the legal victory for the committee, they might not have much time to review the documents, as Republicans will retake the majority in the House in January and are likely to withdraw the committee’s request to review the materials.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is pursuing a civil suit against the Trump Organization, alleging that Trump inflated property values when working with potential investors and deflated them on federal tax forms.
Trump ripped the high court’s ruling, calling it “unprecedented” and saying the institution “has become nothing more than a political body.”