According to an unsealed indictment Thursday afternoon, former President Trump’s family business and its chief financial officer were accused of tax evasion on a vast plan to pay senior officials most of their actual salaries “off the books.” Was charged with.
A Manhattan law firm claims that the plan lasted for 15 years and charged Trump and CFO Allen Weisselberg with criminal tax evasion, falsification of business records, large-scale theft, and government fraud attempts. did.
Weisserberg was indicted in a Manhattan criminal court after surrendering to authorities. He was handcuffed and taken to court Thursday afternoon, acquitting him on all charges.
A longtime Trump best friend, described in the indictment as “one of the largest individual beneficiaries,” received “indirect employee compensation” from the Trump organization during the 12 years from 2005 to 2017.176 He has been accused of hiding $ 10,000. Other parties that remain unconfirmed.
Indirect compensation was not “intentionally” included in Weisselberg’s W-2 form or reported to authorities. “In connection with indirect compensation, corporate defendants did not withhold income tax,” the prosecutor said.
The indictment, opened in court at 2:30 pm on Thursday, concealed the fact that the CFO lived in New York City and eventually evaded federal, state and city taxes of $ 901,112 in New York. Claims to have deceived the city tax.
Outside the courtroom, Trump organization lawyer Alan Futerfas blew up the accusation, suggesting they had political motivation.
“For 244 years, we didn’t let local prosectors chase after the former president of the United States or his employees or his company. It’s an important crossing line, and frankly, I We are very worried about it not only as lawyers but also as citizens, “he said.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday night, Trump argued that the investigation (and others submitted to him in the past) was nothing more than a political stunt. “It’s all nonsense,” he said. “A radical left-wing prosecutor in New York comes after me. You have to fight.”
This accusation was first filed against Trump’s family business. Trump himself has not been charged, but prosecutors have sought Weisselberg’s help for months, hoping to turn him over as a witness who can provide testimony to Trump’s possible tax evasion. .. Two sources who testified before the grand jury told The Daily Beast that the investigators were still looking at Trump.
Manhattan District Attorney Sai Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James conduct a parallel investigation to determine whether Trump misunderstood lenders and tax authorities, or evaded taxes on employees’ permissible debts and profits. Did. James said in recent months that the information her office had collected for a civil investigation into the Trump organization could be used as part of an ongoing criminal investigation at Vance’s office. Notified the Trump organization.
James issued a statement calling Thursday “an important marker of ongoing criminal investigations,” promising her prosecutor “follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”
Both Vance and James appeared in court on Thursday, and three years after Vance opened the case in 2018, criminal accusations emerged from their joint efforts. Relationship with Trump before he started the 2016 presidential campaign.
After more than 18 months of fighting, Vance’s office won a big victory in February, when the Supreme Court paved the way for Trump’s tax returns and other financial records. Vance also examined the tax deductions and loans Trump earned on some of his property.
In recent months, prosecutors have focused their investigations on Weisselberg’s personal connections and the “indirect compensation” they received while working at the Trump Organization, such as expensive apartment and school tuition. I was allowed to.
The indictment alleges that for five years from 2012, Weisselberg arranged for tuition at a private school to pay the family with a Trump-signed personal check. The company also paid an annual lease for two Mercedes-Benz cars for Weisserberg and his wife for at least 12 years from 2005.
In addition to paying rent for his apartment, utilities and garage, Weisselberg receives unreported cash payments and “extraordinary personal expenses” including items such as flat screen TVs and furniture for Florida homes in Weisselberg. The prosecutor said he had submitted his request.
During the investigation, Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer WeisserbergShe said she had spoken to the prosecutor many times and handed a subpoena to Barry, the son of Weisselberg, who managed the Trump Organization’s ice skating rink in Central Park. In an interview, she and her 14-year-old ex-husband said they once lived in a New York apartment offered through a job at Barry’s company without rent.
The indictment alleges that the apartment was occupied from 2005 to 2012 and was paid a monthly rent of about $ 1,000. According to the indictment, in 2018, Weisselberg’s family was later allowed to occupy another apartment owned by the Trump Organization, but no rent was reported.
According to the indictment, two other unnamed employees also received significant compensation in the form of accommodation and car leasing payments in New York City.