The Daily Mail:
Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg is paraded through court in CUFFS and pleads not guilty to charges he evaded taxes on $1.7m in income and on company perks after five-year investigation that’s cost New York millions
- Allen Weisselberg appeared in court to be charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and fraud
- He and the Trump Organization face 15 charges relating to $1.76 million of perks, involving company cars, an apartment and school fees for his grandchildren
- Former President Trump condemned the proceedings as a ‘witch hunt’
- And Eric Trump blasted the years-long investigation: ‘This is what they have?’
- New York Attorney General Letitia James hinted that there was more to come, saying probe would ‘follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead’
- Trump won’t be personally charged in DA’s first case against his organization
The Trump Organization’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg was paraded in court wearing handcuffs on Thursday to hear charges that he failed to pay taxes for years on a company car, apartment and school fees for his grandchildren.
The investigation has cost millions of dollars but could yield just tens of thousands of dollars in back tax.
Weisselberg is accused of failing to pay tax on $1.76 million of perks since 2005, according to the 25-page indictment.
The Trump Organization was also charged in a 15-count indictment, that included charges of conspiracy, grand larceny, tax fraud and falsifying business accounts.
Assistant District Attorney Carey Dunne said: ‘As spelled out in the indictment, this was a 15-year long tax fraud scheme.
‘It was orchestrated by the most senior executives who were financially benefiting themselves and others.’
Weisselberg, dressed in dark suit and open-necked pale blue shirt, cut a diminished figure in a crowded New York Supreme Court.
He was frequently invisible behind black shirted court officers and spoke only to enter a plea of not guilty. He will return to court on September 9.
The hearing marked the first criminal charges in a two-year investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Trump Organization lawyers believe they can strip out the school fees from the charges, reducing the taxable amount to $800,000.
With a state income tax rate of about 10 percent, that means Weisselberg may face a tax bill of just $80,000.
But the charges could complicate the Trump Organization’s relationships with banks and partners, not to mention the political future of the former president.
‘The political witch hunt by the radical left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues,’ he said in a statement.
‘It is dividing our country like never before.’
New York Attorney General Letitia James said the developments were an ‘important marker’ in the investigation of the Trump Organization.
‘This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead,’ she said.
But Trump’s son Eric blasted the investigation before the charges were unsealed, saying taxpayers’ money had been wasted.