A New York state judge denied the Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg’s motions to dismiss tax fraud charges during a hearing Friday.
Judge Juan Merchan said he would grant a hearing to hear arguments over whether statements Weisselberg made while in custody the day of his arrest in July 2021 could be suppressed. The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not oppose the hearing but opposed the motion.
Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted last year on charges they were involved in a 15-year tax fraud scheme. They both pleaded not guilty.
The judge said jury selection would begin in the trial on October 24.
The hearing is the first court appearance for Weisselberg and lawyers for the Trump Organization in nearly a year and comes amid a dramatic legal week for former President Donald Trump.
The company was charged with 10 counts and Weisselberg with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged scheme stretching back to 2005 “to compensate Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives in a manner that was ‘off the books.”
Prosecutors moved to drop one charge against the company saying it fell outside the statute of limitations. The judge granted that motion.
The alleged scheme, according to prosecutors, allowed Weisselberg to evade taxes on $1.76 million in income over a period beginning in 2005. Weisselberg is also accused of concealing his residency in New York City to avoid paying city income taxes.
The judge set the next hearing in the case for September. He said he would hear Weisselberg’s argument to suppress statements he made while he was in custody for eight hours after he surrendered in July 2021.
During that period Weisselberg stated that he lived on Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan since 2005 and that his commute from Long Island was “difficult.” He also said the price of education was “expensive.”
Prosecutors allege Weisselberg hid his New York city residency and didn’t pay taxes on benefits he received while working for the Trump Organizaton, including private school tuition for his grandchildren.