Trump Organization May Face Criminal Charges From Manhattan District Attorney -NY Times
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has told lawyers for former US President Donald Trump that it is considering filing a lawsuit against his family business over executive benefits , The New York Times reported on Friday. .
District attorney Cyrus Vance could announce charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg as early as next week, the newspaper said, citing several people with knowledge of the case.
“It looks like they are going to file charges against the company and it is completely outrageous,” Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told NBC News. “Headquarters will plead not guilty and we will immediately file a motion to dismiss the case against the company.”
Lawyers for the company could not immediately be reached for comment. A lawyer for Weisselberg declined to comment. Vance’s office also declined to comment.
Any criminal charges would be the first of Vance’s investigation into Trump and his business relationship.
Vance’s office had said it was investigating “potentially widespread and prolonged criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud and the falsification of business records.
Company lawyers met with senior prosecutors in Vance’s office on Thursday to try to persuade them not to proceed, Fischetti told NBC News.
Such meetings are common in white collar criminal investigations. The Times said developments in the investigation could increase pressure on Weisselberg to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against the former president.
Trump has not been charged and it is not clear whether charges will be laid.
However, Vance’s investigation could complicate any return to politics for Trump, who lost some of his ability to communicate publicly by being permanently banned from Twitter and suspended for two years by Facebook.
Court records and subpoena records show that Weisselberg and his son Barry received benefits and corporate gifts worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of their years of association with the Trump organization.
If they did not properly account for this money on tax returns and other financial documents, they could be in legal danger, legal experts have said.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has also opened a criminal investigation into the Trump company.
She investigated whether the Trump Organization had inflated the value of certain properties for better loan terms and lowered their value for tax relief.
Vance’s investigation began after former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen paid money to silence two women ahead of the 2016 presidential election over alleged sex with Trump to have had.
Trump has denied the allegations of the women.
Court records show there is some overlap between Vance and James’ separate probes, including their focus on Seven Springs, a 212-acre (86-hectare) estate outside of Manhattan that Trump bought in 1995. .
James is examining the merits of a $ 21.1 million tax deduction taken when Trump agreed not to develop the property, after local opposition derailed his goal of building a golf course and a separate plan to build luxury homes was scrapped.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Paul Grant Editing by Chris Reese
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.