Patterico's Pontifications


Federal Judge Retires to End Inquiry Into Her Tax Fraud with the President of the United States

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 pm

Just another day in the ol’ U.S. of A.:

President Trump’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.

The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

Judge Barry, now 82, has not heard cases in more than two years but was still listed as an inactive senior judge, one step short of full retirement. In a letter dated Feb. 1, a court official notified the four individuals who had filed the complaints that the investigation was “receiving the full attention” of a judicial conduct council. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

The status change rendered the investigation moot, since retired judges are not subject to the conduct rules.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

And I’m sure that people who would normally see such a “coincidence” as odd will now argue that it’s a coincidence with a straight face.

So what did she do?

Judge Barry had been a co-owner of a shell company — All County Building Supply & Maintenance — created by the family to siphon cash from their father’s empire by marking up purchases already made by his employees, The Times investigation found. Judge Barry, her siblings and a cousin split the markup, free of gift and estate taxes, which at the time were levied at a much higher rate than income taxes.

Just your standard tax fraud that Trump apologists will claim, without any knowledge or research, was probably legal at the time. And then there’s the Trump card (SWIDT?): she’s rich and the IRS didn’t prosecute her for years, so, you know, that totally means she’s probably innocent.

The family also used the padded invoices to justify higher rent increases in rent-regulated buildings, artificially inflating the rents of thousands of tenants. Former prosecutors told The Times that if the authorities had discovered at the time how the Trumps were using All County, their actions would have warranted a criminal investigation for defrauding tenants, tax fraud and filing false documents.

B-b-but the IRS always catches everyone right away!!!!1!

Similarly, Judge Barry benefited from the gross undervaluation of her father’s properties when she and her siblings took ownership of them through a trust, sparing them from paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes, The Times found. For years, she attended regular briefings at her brother’s offices in Trump Tower to hear updates on the real estate portfolio and to collect her share of the profits. When the siblings sold off their father’s empire, between 2004 and 2006, her share of the windfall was $182.5 million, The Times found.

I truly believe that if Obama or Hillary Clinton were accused of the same thing, the people who defend Trump on charges of tax fraud would make the same arguments to defend Obama or Hillary.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

I Love Wednesdays

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 pm

I love them so much, I found all the clips. Play them in order. If you know what I’m talking about, you love Wednesdays too.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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