Today in New York City, prosecutors charged the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation with 10 counts and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged scheme stretching back to 2005.
Here is what happened:
- The charges: The indictment charged the Trump Organization, Trump Payroll Corporation and Weisselberg. Prosecutors in court described a 15-year tax scheme and said the charges include 15 felony counts, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records.
- All three plead not guilty: Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to the charges as did the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation. Prosecutors said that Weisselberg attempted to conceal his participation in the scheme with the knowledge of the company.
- Just the start: New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement Thursday calling the indictment against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg an, “important marker in the ongoing criminal investigation.” “Today is an important marker in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg. In the indictment, we allege, among other things, financial wrongdoing whereby the Trump Organization engaged in a scheme with Mr. Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes on certain compensation. This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”
- Trump reacts: Former President Trump released a statement, casting the indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO as part of a “political Witch Hunt.” "The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!" the statement read.
- Big money: According to the indictment, the company paid for rent, utilities and garage expenses on a Riverside Boulevard apartment that Weisselberg and his wife occupy. The indictment says the company maintained internal spreadsheets tracking the amounts it paid for Weisselberg’s rent, utilities and garage expenses, and that it accordingly reduced the amount of direct compensation to account for the expenses it was paying for him. The company didn’t withhold income taxes on the indirect compensation, and Weisselberg reported only his direct compensation on his tax returns, according to the indictment. Though Weisselberg began living in a Riverside Boulevard apartment rented by the company for him in 2005, he didn’t say he was a New York City resident on his taxes until 2013, when he sold his home in Wantagh, New York, thereby avoiding paying city income taxes, according to the indictment. Between 2005 and June 2021, prosecutors said that Weisselberg received indirect employee compensation from the Trump Organization in the approximate amount of $1.76 million, the indictment said.