An accountant for former President Donald Trump testified Tuesday that the businessman reported nearly 10 consecutive years of annual losses on his tax returns, at one point losing nearly $1 billion in a two-year period.
Donald Bender, a partner at accounting firm Mazars USA, spoke before the Manhattan Supreme Court earlier this week during the criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization.
The shocking revelation comes after years of pushing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to get their hands on Trump’s tax returns, a major topic of debate during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Susan Hoffinger, the prosecutor on the case, asked the accountant about the large losses during cross-examination.
Former President Donald Trump at one point lost nearly $1 billion in the span of two years, according to a former accountant working on his tax returns
Donald Bender, a partner at accounting firm Mazars USA, said the former president reported losses for nearly 10 consecutive years
“Remember Donald Trump had a loss of nearly $200 million on his personal tax return in 2010?” Hoffinger asked Bender.
“I think so,” Bender said.
“Remember Donald Trump had losses on his personal tax returns of about $700 million in 2009?” she continued.
“Sounds good,” Bender replied.
Furthermore, when asked by Hoffinger whether the former president had indeed reported losses for nearly a decade, from 2009 to 2018.
“There have been losses all these years,” Bender said in court Tuesday.
The court-confirmed losses appear to mirror a September 2020 New York Times report showing a string of losses for Trump.
That was also apparent from that report Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2020 and 2021 because of his significant losses.
Susan Hoffinger, the prosecutor on the case, questioned Bender about the losses during cross-examination
Bender said in court that he “would have had a heart attack” if he had seen any misconduct within the organization, including payments and perks given to top executives
Mazars, the firm where Bender is a partner, prepared taxes for Trump and the Trump Organization until February, when they cut ties over the former president’s false statements about his finances.
The account also denied knowing of any wrongdoing, including former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, for whom he handled taxes.
When asked how he could be sure he had never seen compensation that was not above board for Weisselberg and other executives within the company, the accountant said he was certain he had never been a party to the incidents.
“Because I probably would have had a heart attack,” Bender said.
Weisselberg reportedly paid rent, utilities and money over 12 years to provide Christmas travel to his doorman, among other benefits from the Trump Organization.
Last week, the former CFO said it was his “own personal greed that led to this case.”
Weisselberg is to serve five months in prison after agreeing to a plea deal.
Allen Weisselberg allegedly paid rent, utilities and other benefits from the Trump Organization
“Did you actually know at any point prior to the year 2021 that The Trump Corporation and Donald Trump paid for these personal expenses as part of Allen Weisselberg’s compensation and did not report them to the IRS?” the prosecutor asked.
“No, ma’am,” Bender replied.
“If you had known all that then, what would you and Mazars have done?” Hoffinger asked.
“We would have had a serious conversation about continuing with the customer,” Bender said.
Weisselberg and other top executives were paid in perks with money that went undeclared, according to law enforcement
The former CFO is expected to serve five months in prison after agreeing to a plea deal
Despite that claim, Bender also admitted that the “Trump bill” made up a large portion of Mazars’ annual revenue.
“Honestly, the Trump bill accounted for about two-thirds of the revenue you brought to Mazars?” asked attorney Bob Brennan Tuesday afternoon.
‘Close to 60 [percent],’ Benders said.
“But it was your biggest account?” Brennan responded.
“Yes sir,” said Bender.
While Trump is not personally charged in the case, the Trump Organization has been accused of underpaying taxes by paying its top executives with unreported income for more than a decade.
If found guilty, the company risks a fine of more than $1.5 million.