Trump Organization CFO surrenders ahead of expected charges – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
The Trump Organization’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg surrendered to the authorities early Thursday ahead of an expected court date for the first criminal charge in a two-year investigation into business practices at Donald Trump’s company.
Weisselberg was photographed entering the complex, which houses the criminal courts and the Manhattan prosecutor’s office, around 6:20 a.m.
New York prosecutors were expected to issue an indictment on Thursday accusing Weisselberg and Trump’s namesake of tax crimes related to employee fringe benefits.
The case against Weisselberg – a loyal lieutenant to Trump and his father, Fred, the real estate developer – could give prosecutors an opportunity to pressure the executive branch to work together and tell them what he knows about Trump’s business dealings.
The Trump organization issued a statement in defense of Weisselberg, saying the 48-year-old employee was being used by Manhattan prosecutors as a “toy in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president.” It said neither the IRS nor any other district attorney would ever consider bringing such employee benefit charges. “That is no justice; That’s politics, ”said the organization.
The charges against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg remained sealed but were due to be revealed before an afternoon indictment in a Manhattan state court, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The persons were not allowed to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity.
There was no indication that Trump would face charges even at this stage of the investigation, which is being jointly pursued by Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James, both Democrats.
Trump didn’t respond to shouted questions from reporters about the New York case when he visited Texas on Wednesday, but earlier this week the Republican blasted New York prosecutors as “rude, nasty and completely biased” and explained his company’s actions ” Common practice throughout US business community and not a crime in any way ”.
The proposed fees are related to perks the company gives top executives such as the use of apartments, cars and school fees, people familiar with the matter told the AP.
Weißelberg’s attorney Mary Mulligan declined to comment. The Manhattan Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Vance, who will be leaving office later this year, has conducted an extensive investigation into a wide variety of matters affecting Trump and the Trump Organization.
His office has investigated hush-hush payments to women on Trump’s behalf and the veracity of the company’s property valuations and tax reviews, among other things.
Vance has fought a long battle to get Trump’s tax records, subpoenaed documents, and interviewed corporate executives and other Trump insiders.
James hired two lawyers from her office to work with Vance’s team after their office found evidence of possible criminal misconduct while conducting a separate civil investigation into Trump.
Weißelberg, 73, was targeted, among other things, because of questions about the use of a Trump apartment by his son at low or free costs.
Barry Weisselberg, who ran a Trump-operated ice rink in Central Park, testified in a 2018 divorce certificate that the apartment in Trump Parc East was a “company apartment, so we had no rent.”
Barry’s ex-wife Jen Weisselberg cooperated with the investigation as well as providing the investigators with tons of tax records and other documents.
The Trump Organization is the unit through which the former president manages his numerous corporate affairs, including his investments in office towers, hotels, and golf courses, his numerous marketing deals, and his television activities. Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric have run the company since he became president.
Although Trump is unlikely to be charged Thursday, allegations against the company that bears his name raise questions about his knowledge of – or involvement in – deals that prosecutors suspect are illegal.
James Repetti, tax attorney and professor at Boston College Law School, said a company like the Trump Organization generally has an obligation to levy taxes not only on salary but also on other forms of compensation – such as the use of an apartment or a car – to be retained.
Such perks would not be considered taxable income if they were required as a prerequisite for employment, Repetti said, such as providing an apartment for an employee who needs to be in the office or on site at unusual or frequent times, or use of a car for business purposes.
Another prominent New York City real estate figure, the late Leona Helmsley, was convicted of tax fraud in federal proceedings for paying for her home remodeling by her company without reporting it as income.
The Trump Organization case involves potential violations of New York state tax laws.
“The IRS routinely looks for fringe benefit abuse when reviewing closely related companies,” Repetti said. “The temptation for the company is to have a tax deduction on the expense while the recipient does not record it as income.”
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