A jury in Manhattan has indicted the Trump Organization, long managed by former President Donald Trump, and its chief treasurer in reference to tax-related offenses, an individual conversant in the matter told USA TODAY late Wednesday. The specific charges, expected to be unsealed Thursday, weren’t immediately clear. Allen Weisselberg, the company’s CFO, was expected to face charges for allegedly failing to pay taxes on fringe benefits from the corporate, and he’s expected to show himself on Thursday, said the source who isn’t authorized to comment publicly on the matter. Weisselberg’s attorney declined to comment.
The charges are a part of a long-running inquiry headed by the Manhattan DA and New York’s attorney general into the operations of the Trump family land business. The district attorney’s office also declined comment. the fees come just days after Trump Organization attorneys met with local prosecutors during a failed plan to persuade them to not proceed with their case, Trump Organization lawyer Ron Fischetti said.
Fischetti told USA TODAY last week that prosecutors had not succeeded in securing the cooperation of Weisselberg, which he expected charges to be filed against the corporate and possibly Weisselberg, as soon as in the week. For quite two years, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has been digging deep into the operations of the Trump closed corporation for possible fraud involving banks, insurance companies, and taxing entities, with attention on whether the corporate manipulated property values to get favorable loans and reduced tax rates.
Prosecutors even have been weighing hush-money payments made to women on Trump’s behalf and the way that cash was documented. Last month, NY Attorney General Letitia James announced that a parallel civil inquiry had escalated to a criminal probe in which state authorities had joined Vance’s investigation. The only prosecutor won a serious public victory in February when Trump’s firm was forced to show over eight years of tax records as a part of a protracted legal battle that ended at the Supreme Court.
Vance’s investigation seemed to have accelerated last month with the disclosure that a special jury had been convened to think about possible evidence of criminality by the president, his business associates, or the corporate itself. Among those cooperating within the inquiry are Jennifer Weisselberg, the previous daughter-in-law of the Trump Organization executive, alongside former Trump personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. Duncan Levin, the attorney representing Ms. Weisselberg, said his client has provided a minimum of 10 boxes of data to prosecutors and has pledged to supply testimony to a jury or at trial if needed.
Levin also said his client was present during conversations during which Trump discussed providing fringe benefits, including school tuition and apartment renovations, in lieu of salary for the Trump executive. Levin said Jennifer Weisselberg has provided accounts of these conversations to prosecutors. Cohen, meanwhile, has acknowledged meeting with my prosecutors multiple times in cooperation with their investigation.
Cohen has told USA TODAY that he wouldn’t discuss any aspect of the case, citing the continued investigation and his potential role in it as a key witness for the prosecution. But he has commented extensively on Twitter on how jury proceedings significantly accelerate the investigation. Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges that included campaign-finance violations for paying bribes to women who claimed to possess had sex with Trump and for lying to Congress, has repeatedly pointed to Weisselberg as most knowledgeable of the previous president’s business operations.