Trump Organization Faces Criminal Charges In New York This Week
A Trump attorney confirmed Friday that former President Donald Trump‘s business is facing criminal charges as soon as this week from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The company reportedly avoided paying payroll taxes on benefits provided to employees, such as rent-free apartments and cars.
Ron Fischetti, who has been an attorney for Trump, contacted New York district attorney Cyrus Vance and Mark Pomerantz, the new special prosecutor, and he tried to convince them not to press charges.
“They didn’t seem, in my opinion, to be very receptive to these arguments,” he said. “It’s outrageous. It’s unprecedented. It’s never happened before.”
Fischetti also added that if the company is, indeed, charged, he will urge them not to plead guilty and ask the judge to dismiss the indictment.
Trump and his family members are not expected to be personally charged.
Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization chief financial officer, is the main person of interest in this case in connection with the benefits he received, including a company-funded apartment and car. Weisselberg has not cooperated with the investigations thus far.
When Trump officially took office in 2017, he appointed Weisselberg to run the company’s day-to-day operations along with Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
Weisselberg first came under scrutiny late last year. Around that time, Jennifer Weisselberg, who was married to Weisselberg’s son Barry Weisselberg for 14 years, turned over financial records and has cooperated with investigators.
Barry Weisselberg worked for two decades with Trump Organization-related businesses that were contracted by New York City in Central Park.
The divorce documents she provided revealed that thousands of dollars were paid towards cars, rent, tuition, medical bills and other expenses.
Lawyers say that criminal tax cases that involve people not paying their taxes on corporate expenses are rare and they usually are handled with civil settlements and penalties.
Also, prosecutors generally dig deeper into people’s personal finances in order to secure their cooperation, similar to what they are doing with Weisselberg.
Matthew Calamari, the chief operating officer of the company, is another person of interest for the D.A.’s office in connection with the benefits he received through the Trump Organization.