Trump Organization could face New York state criminal charges next week

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Donald Trump’s lawyers have been notified by the Manhattan district attorney’s office that it is considering charges against the Trump Organization, according to reports Friday.

The charges, which could be announced by district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as early as next week, involve fringe benefits the organization allegedly awarded to top executive Allen H. Weisselberg – the company’s longtime chief financial officer, according to The New York Times. 

The district attorney’s office — which has been investigating the Trump Organization for the last three years — has reportedly been building a case against the CFO in an attempt to pressure him to cooperate with the investigation.

But it had not yet been disclosed that the company could also face charges.  

Sources familiar with the inquiry into the former president’s family business confirmed the update for the New York publication Friday.

Prosecutors are reportedly looking into perks that were awarded to the top executive, including tens of thousands of dollars for private schooling for one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren, along with car leases and apartment rent doled out by the organization.

The district attorney’s office is looking to see if these benefits were reported to the IRS and if taxes were properly paid on them, the Times reported. 

In a Thursday meeting, Trump’s lawyers allegedly met with state prosecutors in an attempt to persuade them to drop the potential charges on the organization. 

It is unclear if the DA’s office will pursue the charges, though tax law legal specialists said it would be “highly unusual” to prosecute a company over fringe benefits, noted the Times.

The three-year-long investigation has been wide in scope and has included inquiries into the potential involvement of the organization’s employees in “hush money” payments made to women during Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Prosecutors have also looked into insurance claims made about the value of various assets and if the organization manipulated the value of its property to improve loans and tax benefits.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” and claimed it is politically motivated. 

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