The entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 19, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
The Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its longtime finance chief, were indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Manhattan, The Washington Post reported.
The investigation of the Trump Organization originally was focused on how the New York company accounted for a hush money payment Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
But since then, the probe has expanded into allegations by Cohen that the Trump Org misstated the value of various real estate assets to benefit from lower tax obligations or to receive more favorable terms on loans and insurance related to those properties.
In recent months, the Manhattan DA’s office also has eyed how various fringe benefits received by Trump Organization executives were accounted for by the company, and whether executives paid taxes on those benefits.
Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, in an email to CNBC last week said, “In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen the District Attorney’s Office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits.”
“The IRS would not, and has not, brought a case like this,” Fischetti said.
“Even the financial institutions responsible for causing the 2008 financial crises, the worst financial crisis since the great depression, were not prosecuted.”
Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple federal crimes, has repeatedly met with investigators from the Manhattan DA’s office to assist them with their probe of the Trump Organization.