Trump Group and its CFO indicted by the Manhattan Grand Jury
The Manhattan District Attorney’s and New York Attorney General’s offices have received indictments against the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The charges against the organization and Weisselberg, filed by a New York grand jury, are expected to be unsealed in Manhattan Thursday afternoon, a Trump representative told NBC.
Weißelberg is expected to surrender Thursday morning, the Washington Post previously reported, citing sources. The Post said he was expected to be tried by a state judge the same day. The Trump organization is also expected to be indicted.
NBC had previously reported that the charges were based on allegations by Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives who received benefits without properly reporting them on their tax returns.
Former President Donald Trump is not expected to face indictments this week, the Post’s sources said, but the charges could result in potential fines and legal troubles for his company. However, prosecutors hope Weisselberg will testify against Trump to reduce his own risk, another source told the Post.
A Manhattan District Attorney representative Cyrus Vance Jr. declined CNBC’s request for comment. The Trump organization’s lawyer, Ronald Fischetti, did not want to comment directly. Weißelberg’s attorney Mary Mulligan declined to comment.
Allen Weisselberg, Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, watches then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Jan.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
The Trump Organization’s investigation originally focused on how the New York-based company booked a hush money payment that Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen made to pornstar Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.
Since then, however, the investigation has expanded to include Cohen’s claims that the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of various real estate assets in order to benefit from lower tax obligations or to obtain more favorable terms on loans and insurance related to those properties.
Over the past few months, the Manhattan Attorney’s office has also been investigating how various fringe benefits received by Trump Organization executives were billed by the company and whether executives paid taxes on those benefits.
Fischetti said in an email to CNBC last week, “In my 50+ years of practice, I’ve never seen prosecutors target a company for employee compensation or fringe benefits.”
“The IRS did not want and has not presented a case like this,” said Fischetti.
“Even the financial institutions that caused the 2008 financial crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, have not been prosecuted.”
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to several federal crimes in 2018, has met repeatedly with investigators from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office to help them investigate the Trump Organization.
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