Trump Organization and CFO Weisselberg charged with multiple criminal offenses

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Prosecutors allege 15-year tax evasion scheme

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Donald Trump’s namesake company and longtime CFO pleaded not guilty on Thursday to criminal charges in a general indictment by the Manhattan district attorney while investigating the former U.S. president and his business practices.

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The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been accused of plotting since 2005 to defraud tax authorities by granting “unofficial” benefits to company executives.

Weisselberg has been accused of concealing $ 1.76 million in income, including rent for an apartment in Manhattan, rental payments for two Mercedes Benz vehicles and tuition fees for family members, Trump signing off himself checks for tuition.

“It was orchestrated by the most senior executives who were financially benefiting themselves and the company, by securing secret salary increases at the expense of state and federal taxpayers,” Attorney Carey Dunne said at the meeting. Accused.

The 15-count indictment unveiled by District Attorney Cyrus Vance charged the defendants with tax evasion and falsification of business records.

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Weisselberg, who worked for Trump for 48 years, has also been charged with robbery.

The indictment could undermine the Trump Organization’s relationships with banks and business partners.

  1. In this file photo taken on Jan. 16, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump climbs the elevator after escorting Martin Luther King III into the lobby after meetings at Trump Tower in New York City.

    New York prosecutors to indict Trump Organization leader – but not Trump, sources say

  2. President Donald Trump addresses a January 4 campaign rally in Dalton, Georgia on the eve of the second round lost by incumbent Republican President Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.  MANDATORY CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

    Trump’s tax returns and other financial information has been forwarded to the Manhattan district attorney

It could also complicate Trump’s political future, as he returns to holding rallies and ponders a White House race in 2024, even though he has not been charged.

“The political witch hunt by the radical left Democrats, with New York now in charge, continues,” Trump said in a statement. “It divides our country like never before! “

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Vance began his still-ongoing investigation nearly three years ago and has worked in recent months with the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Both are Democrats and attended Thursday’s appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Weisselberg, 73, was handcuffed as he was taken to the courtroom. He was released without bail and taken in a black SUV, with a bystander shouting, “You are going to jail. The Washington Post reported that he was required to surrender his passport.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told reporters after the indictment that the company was “very optimistic” that the indictment would not significantly harm its business.

“If the name of this company were anything else, I don’t think these charges would have been laid,” he said.

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If the name of this company were anything else, I don’t think these charges would have been laid

Lawyer for the Trump organization

In a separate statement, the Trump Organization said prosecutors were using Weisselberg as “a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president.”

He also called Vance’s case one that neither the Internal Revenue Service nor any other district attorney would ever bring.

“This is not justice; it’s politics, ”the company said.

The Trump organization could face fines and other sanctions if found guilty.

The indictment could increase pressure on Weisselberg to cooperate with prosecutors, which he has resisted.

This cooperation could become crucial in any future case against his boss.

The Trump Organization operates hotels, golf courses, and resorts around the world.

Before entering the White House in January 2017, Trump placed his company in a trust overseen by his adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as Weisselberg. It’s unclear what role Trump now has in the business.

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It is not fair; it’s politics

Trump organization

Vance looked at a wide range of potential wrongdoing in Trump’s business, including whether she manipulated the value of her real estate to cut taxes and secure favorable loan terms.

He also looked at hidden cash payments made before the 2016 presidential election to two women who said they had sex with Trump, which he denied.

Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer who has turned on his former boss and cooperated with Vance’s investigation, said Weisselberg was involved in repaying payments to one of the women, the film actress for adults Stormy Daniels.

Jennifer Weisselberg, the former wife of Weisselberg’s son Barry, also cooperated with Vance’s office and provided tax and other financial documents.

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