x

Politics

Trump’s Company Could Face Criminal Charges in New York City

NEW YORK — Manhattan prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges soon against Donald Trump's company, stemming from a long-running investigation into the former president's business dealings.

The New York Times, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that charges could be filed against the Trump Organization as early as next week related to fringe benefits the company gave to top executives, such as use of apartments, cars and school tuition.

Trump Organization lawyer Ron Fischetti said he met virtually with prosecutors Thursday for around 1 1/2 hours 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 on Friday. "We're going to plead not guilty and we'll make a motion to dismiss."

The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment.

No charges have been filed thus far in the long-running probe. 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."

RELATED

NEW YORK  — After 22 witnesses, including a porn actor, tabloid publisher and White House insiders, testimony is over at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Zelensky outcries to world from Kharkiv (VIDEO)

KHARKIV - Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a video plea calling on world leaders to attend a “peace summit” next month in Switzerland after a deadly Russian attack on a DIY hypermarket in Kharkiv on Saturday.

ATHENS - With an eye on high food prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked voters in the June 6-9 European Parliament elections to back his efforts to accelerate an economic recovery while his opponents hoped to make gains.

KHARKIV - Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a video plea calling on world leaders to attend a “peace summit” next month in Switzerland after a deadly Russian attack on a DIY hypermarket in Kharkiv on Saturday.

ATHENS – On a beautiful spring day in Athens the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate opened their 4th International Conference on Religious Freedom in the presence Greek church and government officials and 300 Archons and family members from all over the world.

ALBANY – New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn) alongside Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R,C-Staten Island) and Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, announced the passage in the Assembly of ‘Detective Brian Simonsen’s Law,’ a bipartisan proposal that will require cell phone providers to immediately disable services to stolen cell phones.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.