Manhattan prosecutors will charge Trump Organisation and CFO with tax-related crimes on Thursday, report
- The Manhattan DA's office will charge the Trump Organisation and CFO Allen Weisselberg tomorrow.
- The WSJ reported that the company and Weisselberg will be indicted for "tax-related crimes."
- It will be the first indictment to come out of a two-year investigation into Trump's company.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The Manhattan district attorney's office plans to charge the Trump Organisation and its chief bookkeeper with tax-related crimes on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It will be the first wave of indictments following a two-year investigation into whether former US President Donald Trump's sprawling real-estate company violated state laws and engaged in financial crimes.
The CFO, Allen Weisselberg, had been under prosecutorial scrutiny for months as investigators tried to flip him as a cooperating witness.
The investigation kicked into high gear in February, when the Supreme Court cleared the way for prosecutors to obtain eight years of Trump's taxes. Prosecutors began homing in on Weisselberg earlier this year and secured the cooperation of his former daughter-in-law, Jennifer.
Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider's Jacob Shamsian that she gave boxes of documents from her messy divorce with Barry Weisselberg to investigators. She said they show evidence of the couple receiving fringe benefits from the Trump Organization — like housing and tuition payments for their children — without properly paying taxes on them.
Barry is also a Trump Organisation employee, and Barbara Res, a former executive at the company, told Insider that Barry Weisselberg's position at the company could be part of the reason his father hasn't flipped against Trump.
Manhattan prosecutors first started investigating the Trump Organisation after Trump's former lawyer and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen, accused the company of facilitating a hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges that she had an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s.
Cohen testified to Congress that he and Weisselberg helped coordinate the payment with Trump's knowledge. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to several felony counts of campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and wire fraud in connection to the payment.
Though investigators first started scrutinising the Trump Organisation in connection to the Daniels' payment, the inquiry later ballooned to examine if Trump's real-estate business manipulated its property values for loan and tax purposes, and if it violated banking and insurance laws by doing so.
Trump's defense lawyer, Ron Fischetti, told Politico earlier this week that his client will not be charged in the first indictment from the DA's office.
"They just said, 'When this indictment comes down, he won't be charged,'" Fischetti told Politico, referring to his conversations with prosecutors. But he added that the DA's office said its investigation is "ongoing," meaning the former president may not be out of hot water just yet.
Legal experts say that even if key figures like Weisselberg haven't struck cooperation deals yet, it doesn't mean they won't flip down the line and turn in a bigger fish. Fischetti himself acknowledged that investigators want to use other witnesses to get evidence against Trump.
"They could not get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate and tell them what they wanted to hear, and that's why they are going forward with these charges," he told NBC News. "They could not get him to cooperate because he would not say that Donald Trump had knowledge or any information that he may have been not deducting properly the use of cars or an apartment."
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