The Trump Organization
, a collection of hundreds of business
entities owned by former President Donald Trump
, and its chief financial officer were charged on Thursday with participating in a money-laundering scheme to defraud city, state, and federal tax authorities.
The charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney
against the company and its CFO Allen Weisselberg
(who was led into the court in handcuffs
) include scheme conspiracy
, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records. Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Since the 1970s, Weisselberg has worked for the Trumps.
The perp walk of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg https://t.co/Sm037o4q44
— Zach Everson (@Z_Everson) July 1, 2021
Weisselberg and the company are accused of defrauding tax authorities in order to overcompensate certain company beneficiaries, including Weisselberg himself.
“The purpose of the scheme was to compensate Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives in an ‘off the books
’ manner: the scheme’s beneficiaries received substantial portions of their income
through indirect and disguised means, with compensation that was unreported or misreported by [the Trump Organization] to the tax authorities,” the indictment stated.
“The scheme was intended to allow certain employees to significantly understate their compensation from the Trump Organization, so that they could and did pay federal, state, and local taxes
in amounts that were significantly less than the amounts that should have been paid,” it went on.
For the past two years, the DA's office has been looking into Trump's business, which includes real estate
, hotels, golf
courses, and dozens of other ventures, for various financial misdeeds such as falsifying business records, insurance
fraud, and tax fraud.
A spokesperson for Trump declined to comment on the news
that District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
would soon file charges against the Trump Organization, though Trump issued a statement earlier in the week condemning Vance's investigation
and calling his office "rude, nasty, and totally biased."
The New York State Attorney General
's Office is also investigating the Trump Organization for criminal charges, collaborating with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office; the office
announced the investigation in May but provided no further details.
Trump's business, in which his son Eric Trump
is also involved, has been embroiled in controversy for decades, with lawsuits alleging that the Trump Organization refused to rent
apartments to Black people
and has failed to pay contractors for various services. The business was also at the center of claims throughout Trump's presidency that he was using the presidency to funnel federal money to himself.
, who worked as the Trump Organization's vice president of construction for many years, told CNN
earlier this week that the ex-president was well aware of any financial irregularities at his company. "He is in this with both legs," she said.
Please return for updates as this is a developing