Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg worried about prosecutors getting his financial documents in 2018, ex-daughter-in-law says

Jennifer Weisselberg
Trump Organization CFO’s ex-daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg carries boxes of documents and a laptop giving to prosecutors outside her apartment in Manhattan, New York on April 8, 2021.

  • Allen Weisselberg took steps to avoid showing pay stubs as federal prosecutors investigated Michael Cohen, his ex-daughter-in-law says.
  • He struck an unusual rental agreement that’s now leading to her eviction, Jennifer Weisselberg said.
  • The Trump Organization CFO is now a key figure in the Manhattan DA’s probe of the company.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg took measures to keep his financial documents from prosecutors examining the company’s practices as far back as 2018, according to his former daughter-in-law.

In a series of interviews with Insider, Jennifer Weisselberg described in detail how the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, who is reportedly a target in the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into the company, made an unusual housing arrangement for her as she divorced his son, Barry. The arrangement allowed Allen Weisselberg to act as a guarantor on an Upper West Side apartment without showing any proof of income, she said.

Complications from that arrangement arose in recent weeks, as court records show her landlord is trying to evict her – a measure she claims is retaliation for her cooperation with prosecutors.

Allen Weisselberg’s arrangement has allowed her to live in an apartment building managed by one of his friends in the real estate business, she said. The friend, real estate mogul Lawrence Gluck, permitted her to live in the unit without requiring her or Allen Weisselberg to show any proof of income, she said.

Rental agreements typically require tenants and guarantors to show pay stubs or tax forms demonstrating income of at least 40 times the monthly rent amount. Jennifer Weisselberg said the arrangement allowed Allen Weisselberg to avoid showing pay stubs from the Trump Organization.

She also said she preferred to live in a different apartment building, but Allen Weisselberg forced her to live in that location because of Gluck’s closeness to himself and to now-former president Donald Trump.

“I found several other apartments,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “And he said, ‘No, you’re going to have to move. I called Larry Gluck, and because Donald and Larry and I have a long history of doing real estate together for decades. He’s going to allow me to be the guarantor without having to show any actual financial documents.'”

Allen Weisselberg took the measures to ensure no one would see Trump Organization payroll documents, she said.

An attorney for Allen Weisselberg declined to comment.

It’s “highly unusual” for a landlord to agree not to scrutinize a tenant and guarantor’s income to rent out an apartment, according to Samuel Himmelstein, a New York City-based tenant’s rights lawyer.

“I’ve never seen a situation where the landlord didn’t scrutinize the income of the guarantor in that situation,” Himmelstein said. “Because then he’d potentially have two people who weren’t able to cover the rent.”

The Trump Organization CFO was worried about federal prosecutors, according to Jennifer Weisselberg

Jennifer Weisselberg said the rental agreement was struck at a time when federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating Michael Cohen, who at the time was a Trump Organization executive and personal lawyer for Donald Trump.

The lease agreement was signed in October 2018 and has been renewed since then, contracts reviewed by Insider show.

Earlier that year, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York raided Cohen’s office. Prosecutors ultimately secured a guilty plea on charges of tax evasion and campaign finance violations for a plot that involved Cohen using Trump Organization funds to pay off and silence Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who said she had an affair with Trump. Trump was openly furious about the investigation and Cohen’s plea agreement.

Allen Weisselberg was worried about becoming ensnared in the investigation himself, his former daughter-in-law said.

“It’s because he didn’t want to share financials during the SDNY investigation,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “He doesn’t want them out there.”

michael cohen trump tower elevator
Michael Cohen in Trump Tower in 2016.

In sentencing memos filed that December, federal prosecutors made clear that Cohen acted at Trump’s direction. As president of the United States, Trump was immune from federal prosecution at the time. Since Trump left office in February of this year, neither federal prosecutors in Manhattan or any other division of the Justice Department have given any public indication that they seek to charge him in the case, as Insider’s C. Ryan Barber and Warren Rojas previously reported.

While federal prosecutors may be leaving the Trump Organization alone, Cohen’s comments and public testimony about how the Trump Organization handles its finances sparked multiple state-level investigations in New York.

Allen Weisselberg is now a key figure in those investigations. Prosecutors are seeking his cooperation and reportedly examining whether he should be charged with criminal conduct.

Allen Weisselberg is a key figure in Trump investigations in New York

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is in the end stages of an investigation into whether the company and Trump himself distorted property valuations in order to reap tax, loan, and insurance benefits. Those acts could lead to charges for tax, wire, and insurance fraud, legal experts say.

That investigation is running in tandem with a probe in the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, which is examining many of the same issues. Vance’s office has empaneled a special grand jury and earlier this month reportedly heard testimony from Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney, who is said to work closely with Allen Weisselberg.

Allen Weisselberg has worked with the Trump family for more than 40 years, overseeing their personal finances in addition to his role as the Trump Organization’s CFO. Prosecutors have been seeking his cooperation to help guide them through the possibly hundreds of thousands of pages of financial documents they already subpoenaed from the company.

donald trump jr allen weisselberg
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Donald Trump Jr. in 2017.

Jennifer Weisselberg has been cooperating with investigators from both offices since last fall. She’s given interviews with investigators several times, she said, and handed over “several boxes of documents” stemming from her divorce, which include financial documents related to the Trump Organization. She told Insider that prosecutors have asked her about how the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg operate, and have pressured family members in order to get Weisselberg to “flip.”

It’s not clear whether Allen Weisselberg has already agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and whether he has been asked to testify in front of the grand jury. Prosecutors typically strive to secure a cooperation agreement with witnesses before calling them before a grand jury, so that the witnesses don’t receive immunity for their testimony.

Jennifer Weisselberg says her former father-in-law is behind an effort to evict her

The legal complications stemming from Jennifer and Allen Weisselberg’s unusual rent agreement have reached a new phase in recent weeks.

In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic struck, Jennifer Weisselberg said she lost her job managing musical theater acts and fell behind on rent payments for the apartment.

In November, Columbus Manor LLC, the entity that owns the Upper West Side apartment building, sued Jennifer and Allen Weisselberg and alleged they owed $54,450 in unpaid rent that had accrued since February 2020. The company is owned by Stellar Management, which is run by Lawrence Gluck.

Columbia Manor LLC withdrew the lawsuit on April 29, without Allen or Jennifer Weisselberg filing a response in court, records reviewed by Insider show. CBS News first reported on the existence of the lawsuit.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that in April, her building manager told her that her back pay was “made whole.” She said the manager, Trevor Matwey, said the back pay was made by a law firm directly through Stellar Management and he could not produce a receipt for her. She told Insider that she believed Allen Weisselberg made the payment.

“They won’t show me proof that it’s been paid,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “Trevor Matwey in the management office said, ‘Jenn, you’re good to go. All of the back pay has been worked out. You’re good. You don’t owe anything.'”

After the lawsuit was withdrawn and believing her rent had been paid, she said she signed papers to renew her lease for May. But on May 18, Columbus Manor LLC filed a new lawsuit, naming only Jennifer Weisselberg as the defendant. The new lawsuit claimed that her lease expired on April 30, that “no renewal is required” for the lease, and that she should be evicted.

Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that, because she believes the rent has been made whole, she should not be evicted from her apartment. She believes Allen Weisselberg is behind the eviction lawsuit from Stellar Management because she has cooperated with the investigations into the Trump Organization and spoken to the media about it.

jennifer weisselberg manhattan da investigator
A DA investigator carries boxes of documents and a laptop from Jennifer Weisselberg outside her apartment in Manhattan, New York on April 8, 2021.

The new lawsuit says that Jennifer Weisselberg should further owe the real estate company the agreed-upon $6,050 monthly rent for the apartment until she leaves the premises. It does not mention the $54,450 the company previously said she owed.

Columbia Manor LLC is seeking to evict Jennifer Weisselberg through an ejection order in New York state court. Himmelstein told Insider that landlords rarely file for eviction through that mechanism without also seeking back rent.

“Typically, the landlords seek possession of the apartment and they also seek the back rent,” Himmelstein said. “So is it unusual that they didn’t also sue for the back rent? Yes, that’s unusual.”

A representative for Gluck and Stellar Management said they would not comment on an individual tenant’s financial situation. Kevin Cullen, the attorney leading the eviction litigation against Jennifer Weisselberg, declined to comment. Matwey didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that she expects to be able to remain in her apartment for now because of New York state’s eviction moratorium, which runs through September. She expects she’ll owe thousands of dollars more in legal fees to fight the lawsuit.

allen weisselberg mike pence and donald trump in trump tower 2017
Allen Weisselberg, Mike Pence, and Donald Trump in Trump Tower in 2017.

She said she has already liquidated part of her 401(k) to pay for ongoing civil litigation with her ex-husband over matrimonial disputes, which she believes Allen Weisselberg controls and finances. The attorney representing Barry Weisselberg in the case didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Jennifer Weisselberg said that the eviction is yet another way her former father-in-law has exerted control over her – and Barry’s – lives. In earlier interviews with Insider, she described how the Trump Organization arranged for the couple to receive perks like apartments and tuition payments in lieu of a regular salary to avoid taxes and influence their decisions.

“It’s so controlling,” she told Insider in March. “Because if you want to leave and make the same money – you live there. If you want to leave, where are you going to live?”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump travels from New Jersey to New York City ‘at least once a week’ to work ‘mostly alone’ without attracting much attention: NYT

Trump
Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021.

  • Trump has been working at his namesake tower “at least once a week,” according to the NYT.
  • The trips to Manhattan have reportedly occurred “without attracting much attention.”
  • He is currently residing at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the summer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

With former President Donald Trump escaping the Florida heat and temporarily residing at his New Jersey golf club for the summer, trips to Trump Tower are also part of his routine, according to The New York Times.

Trump, a native New Yorker whose business relationships have long been rooted in Manhattan, reportedly commutes from Bedminster to the city “at least once a week,” and comes back and forth “without attracting much attention,” according to The Times.

When Trump descended from an escalator into the lobby of Trump Tower to announce the launch of his successful 2016 presidential campaign, the building accentuated his burgeoning political power to the world.

However, after a tumultuous term in office and a failed reelection campaign last year, the mood is decidedly different in Trump’s longtime business hub.

Many of Trump’s longtime employees are no longer at the company and family members who once worked with the former president in Manhattan are in different locales.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, was once of fixture of the building but has become one of the former president’s highest-profile critics after being investigated and convicted of tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

According to The Times, the former president works “mostly alone” in his Trump Tower office, with two assistants and a small amount of body men.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

The report also notes that Trump’s political operation has “dwindled to a ragtag team of former advisers who are still on his payroll,” similar to the group that helped him win in 2016.

However, according to The Times, “most of them go days or weeks without interacting with Trump in person.”

As Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported last month, the former president is also “filling his days with endless rounds of golf and emailed tirades against enemies.”

With control of the Republican Party still in his minds, Trump continues to issue political endorsements for allies as he mulls a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

The former president is seemingly downplaying his serious legal woes – New York prosecutors recently convened a grand jury to investigate whether the Trump organization committed financial crimes and the New York attorney general’s office is also conducting criminal investigations into the organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

“This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump said in a statement last month. “It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped. They wasted two years and $48 million in taxpayer dollars on Mueller and Russia Russia Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and it continues to this day, with illegally leaked confidential information.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump Organization making a second attempt to sell its Washington, DC hotel lease, The Washington Post reports

trump international hotel dc
The north entrance of the Trump International in Washington, DC.

  • The Trump Org. is trying to sell its DC hotel lease for a second time, according to The Washington Post.
  • The company first tried to unload the property in fall 2019 but took it off the market when COVID-19 hit.
  • The move comes as a New York investigation into Trump and his business heats up.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As investigations against the former president heat up, former President Donald Trump is taking another stab at selling the lease to his company’s Washington, DC hotel, The Washington Post reported.

For a second time, the Trump Organization has hired a broker to sell the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel, after the pandemic hindered the first effort in fall 2019. The company took the property off the market after COVID-19 hit.

The Trump Organization has hired real estate advisory firm Newmark Group to market the property, which the company leases from the General Services Administration, according to The Post.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Newmark Group declined to comment.

When the company first tried to unload the lease, rooms were running almost half empty, The Post reported, and the property’s revenue last year fell by more than 60%. The hotel continued to face financial setbacks, including the pandemic’s impact on the luxury hospitality industry and ongoing damage to the former president’s brand following the 2020 election and January 6 insurrection.

The move comes one week after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced he was convening a grand jury as his office investigates whether the Trump Organization violated state law. The inquiry into Trump and his company’s finances is wide-ranging and has been underway for more than two years.

It’s not clear whether the DC hotel will play a role in Vance’s investigation or a related investigation being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. According to The Post, the property has not been named in any public flings related to either case.

But The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Vance’s office is investigating a slew of properties, including the DC hotel named for the former president.

Trump acquired the property, which is located in the Old Post Office, before he was elected in 2016, but the hotel became a hotbed for controversy during his presidency as Trump continued to own his businesses, spurring allegations of conflicts of interest.

The Trump International Hotel was at the center of several lawsuits accusing Trump of violating the foreign-emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars public officials from receiving gifts or cash from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

According to financial disclosures, Trump made at least $40.8 million from the hotel in 2018.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump is frustrated about his mounting legal fees as probes into Trump Organization heat up, report says

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump is frustrated with the mounting legal fees amid probes into his business, the Daily Beast reported.
  • According to one source, Trump has described the legal fees as “such pain in the ass.”
  • Close advisors have reassured the ex-president that he won’t be indicted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump is frustrated over mounting legal bills amid two ongoing New York investigations into his business, according to a report by the Daily Beast.

Earlier this month, The New York attorney general’s office announced that it was conducting a criminal probe into the Trump Organization’s finances and whether they violated state laws. Another civil case launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been ongoing.

The former president is reportedly frustrated with the investigations because of the possible legal peril they bring and the financial costs attached to them.

One source told the Daily Beast that Trump has complained that the legal bills are becoming “such a pain in the ass.” The former president is reportedly also worried that investigators could drag the case out for years.

Read more: Inside Trump’s hot vax New Jersey summer, where he’s playing golf and plotting rallies while legal storms form

Close advisors and Trump’s legal team have reassured the ex-president that they don’t believe he will actually be indicted, two people familiar with the situation told the Daily Beast.

“I told him that he has nothing to worry about,” one advisor said.

Trump has been very vocal about his feelings toward the New York probes.

After Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced this week that he had convened a grand jury to consider evidence on the case, Trump claimed the probe was a “continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History.”

“It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped,” Trump said in a press release.

On top of this, Trump is still at loggerheads with former attorney Rudy Giuliani, whose legal team continues to call on the former president to pay for his efforts around the election.

According to New York Times, Trump has still not paid Giuliani for his work and instructed his aides not to pay the legal fees because he was upset that Giuliani had not done more to push back against his second impeachment that month.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former onetime personal attorney, told Insider that the ex-president should expect yet more bad news.

“As more documents are reviewed by the NYAG and NYDA, it appears that the troubles for Donald Trump just keep on coming,” he said. “Soon enough, Donald and associates will be held responsible for their actions.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

NY prosecutors have told at least one Trump Org. witness to prepare for grand jury testimony

donald trump
President Donald J. Trump meets with bank CEOs about Coronavirus COVID-19 response in the Cabinet Room at the White House on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • Prosecutors in Manhattan are reportedly telling witness to prepare to testify in the criminal case aimed at the Trump Organization.
  • Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Cy Vance Jr.’s office has convened a special grand jury for the case.
  • The jury typically deliberates for three to six months and is widely used in fraud or corruption cases.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Prosecutors are telling potential Trump Organization witnesses to get ready to testify in front of a special grand jury in the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal case, as first reported by ABC News.

The revelation signals that the criminal case surrounding the Trump organization is moving to a more advanced stage.

The investigation is being led by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office, and has evolved into a criminal case, looking into Trump’s real estate company’s financial practices and how money moved between higher-ups at the organization. The investigation has looked into Trump’s tax returns, and is delving into how the organization filed reimbursements to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Vance’s office had convened a special grand jury for the case, which will consider whether there is enough evidence to justify bringing charges against Trump.

The grand jury is set to meet three days a week, for between three and six months.

The move signals that with a longer jury, the DA’s office may continue to call witnesses over the timeline of the case.

Investigators have also taken a series of steps to analyze the finances of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. Prosecutors have subpoenaed his and his family’s financial records, and are looking into the perks he may have arranged for his son Barry, who is a longtime Trump Organization employee.

Insider reached out to the Trump Organization and to the Manhattan DA’s office for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump calls New York criminal probe a ‘witch hunt’ and claims a poll shows he is the frontrunner in 2024

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Former President Donald Trump called the criminal probe into the Trump Organization’s finances and whether they violated state laws a “continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History.”

“It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped,” Trump said in a press release.

His statement comes after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. convened a grand jury that will meet three days a week for six months to consider evidence on the case.

Last week, The New York attorney general’s office announced that it was conducting a criminal probe into the Trump Organization. The civil case is also still ongoing.

The criminal probe came after it was revealed that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, was interviewed multiple times by Manhattan District Attorney Letitia James.

“As more documents are reviewed by the NYAG and NYDA, it appears that the troubles for Donald Trump just keep on coming,” Cohen told Insider about the criminal probe. “Soon enough, Donald and associates will be held responsible for their actions.”

Vance also subpoenaed an elite private school attended by the Trump Organization chief financial officer’s grandchildren and is reviewing documents like Trump’s tax returns to see if the organization misled lenders about the value of their properties and paid appropriate taxes.

In his press release, the former president continued to allege that the election was stolen and said, “Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary and the General Election in 2024.”

It’s not clear what poll the former president is referring to.

Polls have shown Trump as a favorable candidate among Republican voters for the primary, but his support within that group has been on the decline. While 54% of Republican voters said they’d support Trump in the primaries in a February Politico-Morning Consult poll, only 50% said they’d vote for him in a poll released last week.

A spokesperson for the former president did not immediately return a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jennifer Weisselberg says the Trump Org. CFO, her former father-in-law, will flip on Trump in New York investigations

allen weisselberg donald trump
Allen Weisselberg, center, stands between President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Donald Trump Jr., at a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Jan. 11, 2017.

  • Jennifer Weisselberg said Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization, will flip on Trump.
  • She is Allen Weisselberg’s ex-daughter-in-law, and was married to his son Barry.
  • Jennifer Weisselberg has also been cooperating with prosecutors who are investigating Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jennifer Weisselberg said Allen Weisselberg, her former father-in-law and the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, will flip on Donald Trump.

Weisselberg was speaking to CNN Thursday about the New York investigations into the Trump Organization and the former president. Interviewer Erin Burnett asked her directly: “Will Allen Weisselberg flip on Trump?”

She responded with a simple “yes,” prompting Burnett to note there was “no hesitation” with her answer.

Read more: Meet Donald Trump’s next nemeses: The 15 prosecutors and investigators from New York who are primed to pepper the ex-president with history-making civil and criminal probes

Weisselberg was married to Allen Weisselberg’s son, Barry Weisselberg, from 2014 to 2018. Trump and his wife attended their wedding and Weisselberg was also present at Trump’s inauguration. Since September she has been cooperating with prosecutors who are investigating Trump’s finances, and has turned over several boxes of documents and a laptop.

Trump is under two investigations in New York. The New York attorney general’s office announced Tuesday it is investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity,” as opposed to a civil one. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is also conducting a criminal investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed tax and insurance fraud, among other crimes.

Both offices are also looking into the taxes and personal finances of Allen Weisselberg with the hopes of gaining leverage that could convince him to cooperate with prosecutors in the Trump investigations, CNN reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, said that he believes Trump will be the one to turn on everyone else involved in the investigations into the Trump Organization, including his own children.

Weisselberg also told Burnett that while attending Trump’s inauguration in 2017 it felt “dangerous” for him to become president.

“The amount of power given to a president – I just think it’s irresponsible to give somebody who is self-serving and narcissistic that much power when it’s inevitably always to benefit themselves,” she said.

When asked why she is cooperating with prosecutors now, Weisselberg said it’s because “it’s so horrifying that Donald Trump could be president again, knowing what I know.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top Mueller prosecutor says New York investigators are likely examining if the Trump Organization falsified tax records

Andrew Weissmann
Andrew Weissmann speaking to MSNBC on May 19, 2021.

  • Former Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann analyzed the investigations into the Trump Organization.
  • He said investigators were likely focused on the possible falsification of business records.
  • New York AG Letitia James this week announced a criminal investigation into the company.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andrew Weissmann, who served as a top prosecutor on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, has said that authorities probing the Trump Organization are likely focusing on whether business records were falsified.

In an Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Weissmann discussed the Tuesday announcement by the New York Attorney General that its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s businesses was now criminal in nature.

The interview also followed reports that the New York Attorney General had opened a criminal tax investigation into Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.

CNN reported that the New York AG was looking into Weisselberg’s personal taxes, while the Manhattan District Attorney was focusing on his work at the Trump Organization, both in an attempt to find leverage that could convince him to cooperate with prosecutors.

“Allen Weisselberg is clearly in the sights of the Manhattan office and the New York attorney general because they clearly want him to flip,” Weissmann said Wednesday.

“So getting him [Weisselberg] to flip is important,” continued Weissmann, adding that the former CFO “faces two types of liability. He faces liability for the work he did as part of the Trump Organization, but also he could face liability with respect to his own personal taxes.”

“And, of course, there has been reporting of him receiving or being the beneficiary of substantial sums to pay for school tuition,” Weissmann said, referring to reports that investigators were examining whether Weisselberg or his family’s tuition payments allowed him to avoid paying taxes.

“And the issue is going to be how is that reported by the Trump Organization? How is that reported by Allen Weisselberg? How was it reported by others, and did they do the right thing?”

Weissmann then discussed the specific legal instruments prosecutors could use in the investigation.

“There is a tax statute and a false-statements statute in New York law that is quite broad and makes it a crime to submit falsified or have falsified business records, particularly if you’re doing that in aid of another crime,” he said.

“So, for example, if you have false Trump Organization business records and you’re doing that to aid in either a federal or state tax scheme, you can be charged with that very broad false-statements charge under New York law, and that is a felony.”

Weisselberg was the finance chief at the Trump Organization for 40 years, and has not formally been accused of any wrongdoing. Insider has contacted Weisselberg’s attorney for comment.

If the investigations resulted in criminal charges, Weissmann said he thinks Trump would likely say “that he was not aware of certain facts and certain valuations and blame underlings.”

The Trump family has claimed that the investigations were politically motivated and have denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Weissmann served as a lead prosecutor on the Mueller investigation that wound up in 2019 declining to reach a judgment on whether Trump obstructed justice, and finding there was insufficient evidence to bring conspiracy charges against Trump. It also resulted in charges being filed against 34 people.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Michael Cohen tweeted a photoshopped picture of Trump behind bars after New York prosecutors announced a criminal investigation into Trump Organization

michael cohen donald trump regular
A composite image of Michael Cohen and former President Donald Trump.

  • Michael Cohen tweeted a doctored image appearing to show his former boss, Donald Trump, in jail.
  • It was a response to the New York AG’s announcement that the Trump Org. faces a criminal probe.
  • Cohen is Trump’s former lawyer and fixer. He started cooperating with prosecutors in 2018.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Michael Cohen tweeted a photoshopped picture showing his former boss, Donald Trump, peerint out from behind bars after the New York Attorney General’s office announced it was investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity.”

“As more documents are reviewed by the #NYAG and #NYDA, it appears that the troubles for Donald #Trump will keep on coming! Soon enough, Donald and Associates will be held responsible for their actions,” Cohen tweeted on Tuesday night.

Cohen previously served as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, and started working with prosecutors to testify against Trump in 2018.

The Tuesday announcement from the New York Attorney General’s office compounds Trump’s legal woes.

The former president is already facing a criminal investigation from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is reportedly looking into possible fraud and tax crimes at the Trump Organization, the umbrella company for Trump’s various businesses.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and claims that the investigations are politically motivated. Both James and Vance are Democrats.

The Washington Post reported, citing a source close to the investigation, that the two prosecutors’ offices are to work together in some respects in their investigations into the Trump Organization. The New York AG’s statement did not mention Vance’s office.

Cohen was once a member of Trump’s inner circle, and a trusted confidante.

However the relationship soured in 2017 after Cohen came under investigation for hush-money payments he paid to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, and for lying to Congress over Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

Cohen served a jail sentence for those crimes, and has become one of his Trump’s most critical former aides.

In 2018, he started cooperating with prosecutors who were investigating his work with Trump, and testified to Congress in 2019. He also wrote a book about his experience working for Trump, calling the former president a racist, a conman, and a tax cheat.

Prosecutors working for Vance’s office have interviewed Cohen about his time working for the Trump Organization. Cohen tweeted after those meetings that they did not spell good news for Trump.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump Organization now subject to criminal investigation in New York, state attorney general’s office tells CNN

trump organization campaign money
Former President Donald Trump has shifted money from campaign donors into his personal businesses, Forbes reported.

  • New York prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, CNN reported.
  • “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity,” the New York Attorney General’s office said.
  • Michael Cohen, Trump’s one-time personal attorney, has been interviewed multiple times by Manhattan’s district attorney.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The New York Attorney General’s office is now conducting a criminal probe into the Trump Organization, a spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.

“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the Organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” spokesperson Fabien Levy told the outlet. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”

The news comes weeks after it was revealed that Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s one-time personal attorney, had been interviewed multiple times by Manhattan’s district attorney. The DA’s criminal inquiry has focused on whether the Trump Organization – an umbrella company for the former president’s business interests – engaged in tax and insurance fraud, among other crimes.

Speaking to Insider, Cohen said his former boss should expect more bad news.

“As more documents are reviewed by the NYAG and NYDA, it appears that the troubles for Donald Trump just keep on coming,” he said. “Soon enough, Donald and Associates will be held responsible for their actions.”

A spokesperson for the ex-president did not immediately return a request for comment.

This is a developing story.

Read the original article on Business Insider