Trump Organization and CFO to be charged Thursday: WSJ
The Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg are set to be charged with tax-related crimes by the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Weisselberg is the subject of a criminal tax investigation by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. (D). Prosecutors are reportedly looking into whether benefits given to Weisselberg and other executives were represented in the company’s financial record-keeping system and if the company paid taxes on those benefits.
The benefits are said to include car leases, apartment rent and private school tuition totaling thousands of dollars.
The Journal reported that Weisselberg and the organization will likely face charges related to allegations of evading taxes on the benefits.
The defendants will reportedly appear in court on Thursday afternoon.
The New York Times previously reported that the probe into Weisselberg was entering its final stages. A grand jury has reportedly been hearing evidence against the organization’s longtime executive, and prosecutors are said to have obtained his official tax returns.
They would be the first criminal charges against the former president’s company since prosecutors began investigating it three years ago.
The Hill has reached out to the Trump Organization for comment.
Prosecutors have tried to persuade Weisselberg to cooperate with the investigation, but his lawyers recently said he would not be of assistance, CNN reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Ronald Fischetti, an attorney representing former President Trump, said in an interview on Monday that Vance’s office told him it is currently only considering charges against the Trump Organization and individual employees for allegedly not paying taxes on company benefits. There are no charges related to hush money allegations or potential fraud regarding property valuations.
He also contended that Vance’s team said Trump will not be charged when the first indictments are brought down.
Lawyers for Trump and the organization reportedly met with prosecutors last Thursday and this Monday in a fourth-quarter attempt to urge prosecutors not to take action against the company.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating the Trump Organization. Her office announced last month that it was investigating the organization in a “criminal capacity,” in addition to a “civil capacity.”
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment at this time,” Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for the New York attorney general’s office, said in a statement.
James has been investigating the organization since 2019 over its finances.
Updated 4:17 p.m.