The Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg have been charged with 15 felony counts in an effort to evade taxes over the course of 15 years, according to a newly unsealed indictment released in federal court.
Weisselberg, who is accused of evading nearly $2 million in taxes, surrendered to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. on Thursday, July 1, and pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include criminal tax fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records.
He was released following the court appearance, though his passport had to be surrendered to the court. The charges represent the first set of criminal claims as the probe into the former president and his organization continues by the DA and AG.
It is alleged that the longtime CFO of the Trump Organization received more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including school tuition, rent for a Manhattan apartment, car payments, and other luxury items.
A prosecutor in court on Thursday reportedly said that the “the former CEO” of the Trump Organization — the former president — “signed, himself, many of the illegal compensation checks” to executives. Trump himself was not criminally charged in the case.
The DA's office did not hold a press conference afterward "as the case relates to an active, ongoing investigation,” however New York Attorney Letitia James called the unsealing of the indictment “an important marker in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump Organization and its CFO.”
“In the indictment, we allege, among other things, financial wrongdoing whereby the Trump Organization engaged in a scheme with Mr. Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes on certain compensation,” she said. “This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”
Vance’s office has been investigating criminal conduct such as falsifying business records, insurance fraud, and tax fraud at the Trump Organization, which has its headquarters in New York City, according to the indictment
In a statement released on Thursday morning, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said that Weisselberg is “a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years.”
“He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President,” the spokesperson said.
“The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.”
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