Criminal Charges in Play for Trump Organization

Prosecutors investigating executives' perks could bring a case next week
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2021 4:14 PM CDT
Criminal Charges in Play for Trump Organization
Former President Trump, left; his chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, center; and Donald Trump Jr. attend a news conference at Trump Tower in New York in 2017.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

For the first time in the Manhattan district attorney's investigation of the Trump Organization, criminal charges are a possibility—maybe as soon as next week. Lawyers for former President Trump have been told that a criminal case is under consideration, the New York Times reports. That part of the investigation involves perks the company and Trump provided Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer, and other executives, and whether they were off the books. The benefits include such expenditures as apartment rents, car leases, and tuition for one of Weisselberg's grandchildren. Most such perks are taxable, though the rules aren't always clear. The investigation of Weisselberg is intended partly to pressure him to cooperate with prosecutors; it hadn't been reported that it could result in criminal charges against the Trump Organization.

Trump attorney Ron Fischetti confirmed Friday that the company expects criminal charges, which he called "completely outrageous," per NBC. "The corporate office will plead not guilty, and we will make an immediate motion to dismiss the case," Fischetti said. Trump Organization lawyers and prosecutors met Thursday about the case, which is common in white-collar cases, with the Trump team arguing against charges. Several outside lawyers said charging a company over unpaid taxes on a perk is rare. Matthew Calamari, the company's chief operating officer, is under investigation over the same issue. It's not known whether Trump will face any charges himself. Weisselberg still works for the Trump Organization. (Trump has blasted the calling of a grand jury in the case.)

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