UPDATE: New York prosecutors on Thursday charged the Trump Organization, Trump Payroll Corporation and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged tax scheme stretching back to 2005.
Prosecutors in court said the counts include a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records. The indictment also alleges Weisselberg evaded $1.76 million in taxes over the period beginning in 2005 and that he concealed for years that he was a resident of New York City, thereby avoiding paying city income taxes.
The Trump Organization released a statement Thursday saying that Weisselberg is being used by Manhattan prosecutors
“as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President.
The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.”
The long-awaited indictment against the organization is expected to lay out how it went about illegally avoiding tax for decades, but insiders have said that it’s not expected to charge Trump himself.
Weisselberg pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon.
Earlier this week, Trump insisted in a statement that the benefits given to his employees are “standard practice” and “in no way a crime.”