- Donald Trump’s namesake company and its finance chief were indicted on Wednesday as a two-year probe comes to a head
- The charges laid by a Manhattan grand jury against the Trump Organisation and its CFO Allen Weisselberg will be revealed on Thursday
- The case focuses on whether Weisselberg and other officials received perks without reporting them properly on their tax returns
- Experts say the charges could extend to “scheme to defraud under the tax law,” which carries serious penalties
- Unlike Weisselberg, Trump will not be charged, but prosecutors say they are continuing their investigation
According to a source familiar with the matter, Donald Trump’s namesake company and its finance chief were indicted on Wednesday as a two-year probe into the former US president and his business dealings comes to a head.
It’s expected that the charges laid by a Manhattan grand jury against the Trump Organisation and its CFO Allen Weisselberg will be revealed on Thursday.
The source said Weisselberg is likely to surrender to authorities on Thursday morning, US time, before being formally charged in the New York Supreme Court in the afternoon.
Trump, according to his lawyer Ronald Fischetti, is not expected to be charged this week, although the repercussions from the investigation could complicate a potential run for the presidency in 2024.
The criminal case stems from an inquiry by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in collaboration with New York state Attorney General Letitia James, and focuses on whether Weisselberg and other officials received perks, like rent-free apartments and leased cars, without reporting them properly on their tax returns.
Court filings, public records and subpoenaed documents show that Weisselberg and his son Barry enjoyed benefits and gifts potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, including many perks related to real estate.
“This will be their first blow,” Fischetti said of the prosecutors, who said in a meeting last week that they were still pursuing their investigation.
In a statement on Monday, Trump called prosecutors biased and said his company’s actions were “in no way a crime.”
According to New York attorney Marc Scholl, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s office, one possible charge is “scheme to defraud.”
“‘Scheme to defraud’ is a crime that allows the prosecution to detail a narrative in the indictment describing the criminal conduct and how it originated, no matter how long ago the crime started,” he said.
Scholl also noted that the charges could extend to “scheme to defraud under the tax law,” which carries much more serious penalties.
Prior to entering the White House in 2017, Trump put his company into a trust overseen by his sons and Weisselberg, who has maintained a tight grip on its finances. For now, it’s unclear what role Trump has at the company.
Still, it could complicate his political future, particularly as he flirts with a possible White House run in 2024. In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump was asked if he had “made up his mind” about another presidential campaign — to which he replied “yes” without saying what the decision is.