‘A Scheme To Defraud’: Manhattan DA’s 15-Count Indictment Hits Trump Inc. And Weisselberg
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
On Thursday, Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, officially faced a grand jury indictmenton criminal charges in connection with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.'s financial investigation of former President Donald Trump's company. Weisselberg entered a "not guilty" plea to charges that include grand larceny, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.
The Trump Organization itself was also indicted; under New York State law, companies as well as individuals can be indicted on criminal charges. Donald Trump, however, has not been indicted so far.
New York prosecutors on Thursday unveiled an indictment charging the Trump Organization\u2019s finance chief Allen Weisselberg with grand larceny and the company with fraud. Both Weisselberg and the company pleaded not guilty.https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-organization-cfo-allen-weisselberg-surrenders-to-authorities-11625138416?mod=hp_lead_pos1\u00a0\u2026— Rebecca Ballhaus (@Rebecca Ballhaus) 1625164936
The indictment in New York State v. the Trump Organization reads, "Beginning from at least 2005 to on or about June 30, 2021, the defendants and others devised and operated a scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities. The purpose of the scheme was to compensate Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives in a manner that was 'off the books': the beneficiaries of the scheme received substantial portions of their income through indirect and disguised means, with 'compensation that was unreported or misreported by the Trump Corporation or Trump Payroll Corp. 10 the tax authorities."
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has announced:
NEW: New York Attorney General Letitia James: "This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.\u201d http://abcn.ws/3xaRLph\u00a0pic.twitter.com/4PLoFgPoQb— ABC News (@ABC News) 1625166130
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, told CNN:
CNN legal reporter Erica Orden explained:
Other major legal experts have been quick to respond to the charges that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization are facing. Here's what some of them they have been saying:
15 counts. Wow.https://twitter.com/eorden/status/1410668093051965444\u00a0\u2026— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss) 1625164558
"If the allegations in the indictment are true, this was pants-on-fire tax evasion," said Daniel Hemel, a tax law professor at the University of Chicago (about the Weisselberg indictment). "It is very hard to believe that this could have happened without the man on top knowing."— Jonathan Landay (@Jonathan Landay) 1625173217
4. Charges are \u201cmuch broader than we were led to believe\u201d by Trump's lawyers over past few days.\n\nAppears to be a \u201cvery conscious,\u201d "orchestrated" criminal scheme.\n\n- @DanielRAlonso, former federal and New York State prosecutor (via @AymanMSNBC in response to question by @AymanM)— Ryan Goodman (@Ryan Goodman) 1625167860
Presuming these allegations are true, Weisselberg seems really screwed. He lived in an apartment paid for by the Trump Organization which neither he nor the organization reported as part of his income and he falsely claimed not to be a NYC Resident to avoid city taxes.https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1410671146324971525\u00a0\u2026— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@Aaron Reichlin-Melnick) 1625165569
Wow. If these allegations are true, it is not a close case. They've got the goods on Weisselberg, & it would be surprising if he were the only person in Trumpworld who knew about thispic.twitter.com/mVQkcg1oNe— Daniel Hemel (@Daniel Hemel) 1625166345
Breaking: the Trump Org indictment alleges a federal tax scheme, not just a NY state one. See paragraph 4.— Andrew Weissmann (@Andrew Weissmann) 1625165611
The \u201clock her up\u201d people are worried about holding former officials accountablehttps://twitter.com/acyn/status/1410674398697119745\u00a0\u2026— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1625166062