A Manhattan grand jury indicted the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, on Wednesday in connection with a tax investigation, according to people familiar with the matter cited by CNN and The New York Times.
The specific charges against the company and its chief financial officer were not immediately clear, but are expected to be revealed this Thursday, according to The New York Times.
If made official, it will be the first court proceeding against the Trump Organization since it began to be investigated more than three years ago by the office of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance. There is another parallel investigation by the New York State Attorney’s Office.
According to the newspaper The Wall Street Journal published in the morning, the charges are related to alleged tax crimes in relation to a variety of advantages and benefits granted to employees. According to the newspaper, Weisselberg is expected to be prosecuted for evading taxes on benefits received in the exercise of his position (such as vehicles, educational payments or accommodation), but not duly declared to the Tax Office.
Former President Trump is not expected to be charged, but prosecutors have said the investigation remains open. However, the charges against Weisseslberg are a blow to the former president, who has said that the New York investigations against him are part of political retaliation.
If in the process, the prosecution were able to demonstrate that the practice of hiding those benefits from the treasury was more widespread than what is known so far, Trump’s company could be sued for fraud and along with it its main executives, among whom are the sons of Trump.
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The indictments are the result of the acceleration that the case experienced after Vance’s office finally received the tax returns from Trump and his company that it had been requesting for months in February, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision not to accept the case for block the subpoenas that were made to the ex-president’s accountants. It was the second chance that the highest court ruled against Trump’s aspirations.
According to media reports, prosecutors accessed millions of pages of tax return documentation and other financial papers ranging from January 2011 to August 2019, implying that two years in which Trump was in office are included. White House.
In May, it was reported that Vance had convened a grand jury, which gave the impression that the prosecution believed he had a strong case as a result of their investigation and wanted to shield it with the opinion of a grand jury.
Double legal front in New York
Originally, Vance was investigating payments received by two women who say they had extramarital affairs with Trump before the 2016 presidential campaign and possible tampering with business documents.
In mid-May, the office of the attorney general of the state of New York, Letitia James, which was already conducting a civil investigation of the former president’s company, indicated that it is criminally investigating the Trump Organization, in conjunction with the prosecutor of Manhattan district.
James leads a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to guarantee loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. His research focused on a Trump office building in New York City, a hotel in Chicago, and a golf course near Los Angeles.