Trump Organization and senior executive charged with tax crimes

Thursday - 01/07/2021 14:31
Charges mark a severe blow to ex-president’s family business
Allen Weisselberg is escorted to his arraignment hearing in New York City on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Allen Weisselberg is escorted to his arraignment hearing in New York City on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been charged with tax-related crimes, marking the first criminal charges against the former president’s company following a years-long investigation by New York prosecutors.

Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump family for nearly 50 years, surrendered to the authorities at the Manhattan criminal courthouse at 6.20am on Thursday and was charged by the Manhattan district attorney with failing to properly report company perks, including rent-free apartments, school fees and cars, in the latest stage of an escalating battle between New York prosecutors and the former president.

Reporters and TV trucks gathered outside the 100 Centre Street courthouse waiting for the hearing to start.

Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers said he would “fight these charges in court”.

In a statement the Trump Organization said: “This is not justice; this is politics.” Weisselberg is “a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather” who is “being used by the Manhattan district attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president”, the statement read.

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