Trump’s company and chief financial officer indicted by New York grand jury

The charges would be the first coming out of two year investigation by Manhattan District Attorney

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 01 July 2021 03:12 BST

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Donald Trump’s company and its chief financial officer have been indicted by a New York grand jury after an investigation into the former president’s business dealings.

The charges facing the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg remain sealed but are expected to be made public on Thursday and are thought to be related to unpaid taxes on fringe benefits enjoyed by executives at the company.

Mr Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump family since 1973, is expected to surrender at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, and appear before a state judge later in the day to be arraigned, according to The Washington Post.

The charges are the fist to come down after a two year investigation into Mr Trump’s company by the Manhattan prosecutor’s office, which presented its evidence to the grand jury.

It is not illegal for executives to receive benefits such as housing, cars or school fees, but they have tax implications that must be accounted for.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has also opened civil investigations into Mr Trump’s business and has two of her lawyers working with Mr Vance’s criminal probe.

Earlier this week he branded Mr Vance’s investigators as “rude, nasty, and totally biased” in how they have treated his company’s lawyers and employees.

Mr Trump’s personal lawyer, Ron Fischetti, said on Monday that prosecutors had told him that Mr Trump was not facing any charges in the first wave of indictments, and downplayed the legal threat faced by the one-term president.

On Monday, attorneys for the company reportedly with prosecutors under a last-minute deadline to dissuade them from moving forward with charges against the company, which serves as an umbrella for Mr Trump’s real estate and other business holdings.

In February, the district attorney’s office – working in tandem with the New York Attorney General’s office – obtained years of the former president’s financial documents after a protracted legal battle that reached the US Supreme Court.

Mr Vance’s office has not publicly revealed the scope of potential allegations, but court filings in 2020 revealed that his office argued that previously reported allegations of tax and insurance fraud justified a grand jury probe into the former president and his company.

Hours before news of the charges broke, Mr Trump was in Texas, visiting the US-Mexico border.

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