AP sources: Trump company, executive indicted in tax investigation | Business
Donald Trump’s company and its long-time CFO have been indicted on charges arising from a New York investigation into the former president’s business relationship, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Expenses against the Trump organization and that of the company CFO, Allen Weisselberg, remained sealed on Wednesday night, but are expected to involve alleged tax violations related to the benefits the company has given to senior executives, including the use of apartments, cars and tuition fees, people familiar with the matter said.
People were not allowed to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity. the the Wall Street newspaper was the first to report charges were expected Thursday.
The company and Weisselberg were due to make their first court appearance on Thursday.
The charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization are believed to be the first criminal cases to emerge from the two-year investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat who leaves office at the end of the year.
Prosecutors were by scrutinizing Trump’s tax records, subpoena documents and question witnesses, including Trump insiders and corporate executives.
A grand jury was recently constituted to weigh the evidence and New York Attorney General Letitia James said she was assign two of his lawyers to work with Vance on the criminal investigation as she continues a civilian investigation into Trump.
Messages requesting comment were left with a spokesperson and lawyers for the Trump Organization. Weisselberg’s attorney, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Trump’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Jason Miller, a longtime former senior adviser to the Republican, called the looming accusations “politically terrible for Democrats.”
“They told their lunatics and supplicants in the mainstream media that it was President Trump. Instead, their witch hunt persecutes an innocent 80-year-old man for possibly taking free parking! Miller tweeted, apparently referring to Weisselberg, who is 73.
Trump, who has criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, was in Texas on Wednesday to visit the US-Mexico border. He did not respond to shouted questions about the charges as he participated in a briefing with state officials.
Trump had criticized the investigation in a statement on Monday, calling Vance’s office “rude, mean and totally biased” in its treatment of lawyers, representatives and longtime employees of the Trump company.
Trump, in the statement, said the company’s actions were “things that are common practice throughout the American business community, and by no means a crime” and that Vance’s investigation was an investigation. ” in search of a crime “.
Trump Organization lawyers virtually met with Manhattan prosecutors last week in a final attempt to dissuade them from charging the company. Prosecutors gave lawyers a deadline of Monday to argue that criminal charges should not be laid.
Ron Fischetti, attorney for the Trump Organization, told the AP this week that there was no indication that Trump himself was included in the first batch of charges.
“There is no indictment this week against the former president,” Fischetti said. “I can’t say he’s completely out of the woods yet.”
Weisselberg, a staunch lieutenant of Trump and his father, a real estate developer, Fred, has come under scrutiny, in part because of questions about his son’s use of a Trump apartment at little or no cost.
Barry Weisselberg managed an ice rink managed by Trump in the central park.
Barry’s ex-wife Jen Weisselberg cooperated in the investigation and handed over piles of tax records and other documents to investigators.
“We have been working with prosecutors for many months now in connection with this tax and financial investigation and have provided a great deal of evidence which has enabled them to lay these charges,” Jen Weisselberg’s lawyer Duncan Levin said on Wednesday. . “We are delighted to hear that the prosecutor’s office is moving forward with a criminal case.”
Allen Weisselberg has worked for the Trump Organization since 1973. The case against him could give prosecutors the means to pressure the executive to cooperate and tell them what he knows about Trump’s business relationship.
Prosecutors have subpoenaed another longtime CFO, senior vice president and controller of Trump Jeffrey McConney, testify before the grand jury in the spring. Under New York law, grand jury witnesses are granted immunity and cannot be charged for the conduct they testify about.
Prosecutors investigating the untaxed benefits of Trump leaders have also looked into Matthew Calamari, a former Trump bodyguard turned chief operating officer and his son the company’s chief security officer. However, an attorney for the Calamaris said on Wednesday he did not expect them to be charged.
“While the prosecutor’s investigation is obviously ongoing, I don’t expect charges to be laid against any of my clients at this time,” said attorney, Nicholas Gravante.
Associated Press editors Jill Colvin in Weslaco, Texas, and Bernard Condon in New York City contributed to this report.
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