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Trump Organization and financial chief charged with tax-related crimes

Trump Organization and financial chief charged with tax-related crimes

The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been charged with tax-related offenses, marking the first criminal charges against the former president’s company since prosecutors began investigating it three years ago, two people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

Multiple news outlets including the New York Times and Washington Post reported the charges on Wednesday evening, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The charges against the Trump Organization and the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, remained sealed Wednesday night, but were expected to involve alleged tax violations related to benefits the company gave to top executives, possibly including use of apartments, cars and school tuition, people familiar with the case said.

While no charges are expected to be brought against Trump personally the charges mark an extraordinary turning point for the former president and more are likely to follow. New York prosecutors are still investigating allegations of “hush money” paid to women who say they had sexual relations with Trump, and claims of real-estate price manipulation.

The charges are a severe blow to the Trump Organization, which may now find it more difficult to raise money as the case continues. They also pose a challenge to Trump’s apparent political ambitions. The former president has begun a series of campaign style rallies and is positioning himself for another run at the presidency in 2024.

Prosecutors have been pressing Weisselberg, 73, to cooperate with their investigations but with little success so far.

No one other than Trump has such a thorough knowledge of the Trump Organization. “They are like Batman and Robin,” Jennifer Weisselberg, ex-wife of Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry told the New York Times. Jennifer Weisselberg has aided Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance investigation into Trump’s business after a contentious divorce, supplying hundreds of pages of tax documents.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, testified before Congress in 2019 that Weisselberg helped orchestrate a cover-up to reimburse him for a $130,000 payment made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had sex with Trump.

Cohen also testified that he and Weisselberg concocted phony valuations of Trump’s real estate holdings to devalue assets for tax purposes while inflating them for loan agreements.

Vance and the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, are investigating both those allegations.

  • More details to follow soon…

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