THE Trump Organization and its chief financial officer will reportedly be charged on Thursday.
People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg are set to be hit with tax-related crimes.
Read our Donald Trump live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Trump Organization lawyer Ron Fischetti said he met virtually with prosecutors last Thursday for over an hour to try and persuade them not to seek a criminal indictment against the company, but that the charges would not be unexpected.
"The charges are absolutely outrageous and unprecedented, if indeed the charges are filed. This is just to get back at Donald Trump,” he told The Associated Press.
"We’re going to plead not guilty and we’ll make a motion to dismiss."
No charges have been filed thus far in the long-running probe.
Trump blasted New York City and State prosecutors after Trump was told by his lawyer he would not be charged in the prosecutors' two-year-old investigation into his assets.
"Radical Left New York City and State Prosecutors, who have let murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and all other forms of crime skyrocket to record levels," Trump wrote.
And "who have just announced that they will be releasing hundreds of people involved in violent crime back onto the streets without retribution of any kind, are rude, nasty, and totally biased in the way they are treating lawyers, representatives, and some of the wonderful long-term employees and people within the Trump Organization," he continued.
Prosecutors have been scrutinizing Trump's tax records, subpoenaing documents and interviewing witnesses, including Trump insiders and company executives.
Law enforcement officials familiar with the matter say the investigation has reached a critical point.
A grand jury was recently empaneled to weigh evidence and New York Attorney General Letitia James said she was assigning two of her lawyers to work with Vance on the criminal probe while she continues a civil investigation of Trump.
In addition to fringe benefits, prosecutors have looked into whether the Trump Organization lied about the value of real estate holdings to lower taxes or to obtain bank loans or insurance policies on favorable terms.
They have also looked into the company’s role in paying hush money to two women who say Trump had affairs with them, accusations Trump has denied.
Some of the scrutiny has been focused on longtime Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
Vance’s investigation of Weisselberg, 73, stemmed in part from questions about his son’s use of a Trump apartment at little or no cost, cars leased for the family and tuition payments made to a school attended by Weisselberg’s grandchildren.
Weisselberg’s attorney, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment.
There’s nothing illegal about companies giving lavish perks to valued employees, but in many circumstances those benefits count as compensation subject to income tax.
Fischetti said any charges against the company based on fringe benefits would be overreach by prosecutors.
"We looked back 100 years of cases and we haven’t found one in which an employee has been indicted for fringe benefits — and certainly not a corporation," he said.
For it to be a crime, he said, "it would have to be for the benefit of the corporation with the knowledge of the corporation. They don’t have the evidence at all."
Source: Read Full Article