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Vance “is bringing criminal prosecution with employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other district attorney would ever think of,” added the Trump Organization. “That is no justice; That’s politics. “
New York prosecutors are expected to announce the first criminal indictment on Thursday in a two-year investigation into Trump’s business practices in which they accuse his company of the same name and Weisselberg’s tax offenses related to employee fringe benefits.
Weisselberg was seen entering the lower Manhattan courthouse with his attorney at around 6:20 a.m.
The charges against the Trump organization and Weißelberg remained sealed on Wednesday evening, but should be revealed before an afternoon indictment in a Manhattan state court, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The persons were not allowed to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity.
There was no evidence that Trump would face charges even at this stage of the investigation, which is being run jointly by Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James, both Democrats.
Trump didn’t respond to screaming questions from reporters about the New York case when he visited Texas on Wednesday. But earlier in the week he had branded New York prosecutors as “rude, nasty and completely biased” and said his company’s actions were “common practice in all of US business and in no way a crime.”
The proposed fees are related to perks the company is providing to top executives, such as the use of apartments, cars and school fees, people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.
Messages asking for comments were left with a spokesman and lawyer for the Trump Organization. Weißelberg’s attorney Mary Mulligan declined to comment. The Manhattan Attorney’s Office also declined to comment.
The White House did not comment directly on the anticipated charges either, although Assistant Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday that President Joe Biden had “made it clear that it is long overdue for the richest Americans “Pay their fair share.”
“We’ve clearly seen the coverage for the past 12 hours or so,” said Jean-Pierre. “But I refer you to the parties involved for further comments. We will not have a … case at this point.”
Vance, who is leaving office later this year, has conducted an extensive investigation into a wide variety of matters affecting Trump and the Trump Organization.
His office has investigated hush money payments to women on Trump’s behalf and the veracity of the company’s real estate valuations and tax reviews, among other things.
Vance has fought a long battle to get Trump’s tax records, subpoenaed documents, and interviewed corporate executives and other Trump insiders.
James hired two lawyers from her office to work with Vance’s team after their office found evidence of possible criminal misconduct while conducting a separate civil investigation against Trump.
Weißelberg, 73, was targeted, among other things, because of questions about the use of a Trump apartment by his son at low or free costs.
Barry Weisselberg, who ran a Trump-operated ice rink in Central Park, testified in a 2018 divorce certificate that the apartment in Trump Parc East was “a company apartment, so we didn’t rent.”
Barry’s ex-wife Jen Weisselberg cooperated with the investigation as well as providing the investigators with tons of tax records and other documents.
The case against Allen Weisselberg – a loyal lieutenant to Trump and his real estate developer father, Fred – could give prosecutors an opportunity to pressure the executive branch to work together and tell them what he knows about Trump’s business dealings.
The Trump Organization is the unit through which the former president manages his many corporate affairs, including his investments in office towers, hotels, and golf courses, his many marketing deals, and his television activities.
Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric have run the company’s day-to-day operations since he became president.
While Trump is not expected to face charges Thursday, allegations against the company that bears his name raise questions about his knowledge of – or involvement in – deals prosecutors suspect were illegal.
James Repetti, tax attorney and professor at Boston College Law School, said a company like the Trump Organization has a general obligation to levy taxes not only on salary but also on other forms of compensation – such as the use of an apartment or a car – to be retained.
Such perks would not be considered taxable income if they were required as a requirement for employment, Repetti said – including or allowing the provision of an apartment for an employee who needs to be in the office or on site at unusual or frequent times Using a car for business purposes.
Another prominent New York City real estate figure, the late Leona Helmsley, was convicted of tax fraud in federal proceedings for paying for her home remodeling by her company without reporting it as income.
The Trump Organization case involves potential violations of New York state tax laws.
“The IRS routinely looks for fringe benefit abuse when reviewing closely related companies,” Repetti said. “The temptation for the company is to have a tax deduction on the expense while the recipient does not record it as income.”