The Trump Organization could face criminal charges as early as this week in the years-long investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, The New York Times reports.
Vance’s office informed former President Donald Trump’s lawyers that it is considering filing criminal charges against his business amid an investigation into whether the company used fringe benefits to top executives to avoid taxes.
Prosecutors have recently focused on benefits received by Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and other top executives. The benefits included cars, apartments, and even tens of thousands in private school tuition for one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren.
It would be highly unusual to charge a company for failing to pay taxes, legal experts said, though the investigation is also said to include the company’s statements to insurance companies about the value of its assets and whether Trump Organization employees were involved in hush-money payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Trump Org has Monday deadline:
Vance’s office gave Trump’s attorneys until Monday to make final arguments about why the company should not face criminal charges, according to The Washington Post.
Prosecutors met with Trump’s lawyers last week to discuss the matter.
Vance earlier this year convened a grand jury to consider indictments in the years-long probe, which has been joined by New York Attorney General Letitia James. No charges have yet been filed, though Weisselberg is expected to be charged as well is prosecutors move forward, according to the report.
Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti told the outlet that prosecutors are moving forward because Weisselberg was not “cooperating and saying what they want him to say.”
Prosecutors have tried for months to press Weisselberg to cooperate.
Ex-Trump Org exec says Trump deserves jail:
Barbara Res, who spent years overseeing construction projects at the Trump Organization, said that Trump deserves to go to jail for his business’ financial dealings.
Res told CNN that she believes Weisselberg did not cooperate because “Trump has something on him.”
She said that “nothing major” happens at the company without Trump’s knowledge.
Asked if he deserves to be imprisoned, Res replied, “certainly.”
“That’s an opinion of a citizen, not even somebody that knows Trump,” she said. “But I do know him and I know that he’s very deliberate, very measured and very vengeful. And he doesn’t follow the rules. He never did follow the rules. So, does he deserve to go to jail? I imagine he does.”