Alan Weiselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization Inc., Center, walks into a courtroom in criminal court on Thursday, July 1, 2021 in New York, United States.
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The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer Alan Weiselberg pleaded not guilty Thursday to tax-related crimes, including fraud and grand theft, in a Manhattan court where the company was also struck down with criminal charges. .
A prosecutor said Weiselberg personally “avoided $1.7 million in taxes” as part of a plan “orchestrated by the most senior officials” at the Trump Organization, which is owned by former President Donald Trump.
Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Carrie Dunne told court that Weiselberg’s crimes were part of a “widespread and audacious illegal payment scheme.”
“This case is not about politics, the investigation that is going on is fair,” Dunne said.
New York County’s Cyrus Roberts Vance Jr. and New York State Attorney General Letitia James arrive in court in July to hear former US President Donald Trump Company chief financial officer Alan Weiselberg in criminal court in lower Manhattan, New York. 1, 2021.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images
Weiselberg, 73, was taken to the courtroom in handcuffs by officers wearing a white mask.
Weiselberg’s lawyer told a judge that the defense team objected to prosecutors’ claims.
A special grand jury on Wednesday issued indictments against Weiselberg and the Trump Organization.
The office of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. has been investigating the Trump Organization for several years. In recent months, investigators from New York State Attorney General Letitia James have joined her investigation.
James was present in the courtroom with Vance.
Last year, Vance won a legal battle that allowed him to obtain tax records and other financial documents of former President Trump from his longtime accounting firm.
The Trump Organization criticized Vance for bringing up the matter in a statement.
“Alan Weiselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked for the Trump Organization for 48 years,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
“He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched attempt to harm the former president,” the spokesman said.
“The district attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other district attorney would ever think to bring. This is not justice; this is politics.”
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has repeatedly called on Vance’s investigators to assist in his investigation.
Weiselberg’s former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weiselberg has also informed prosecutors. Her ex-husband Barry Weiselberg also works for the Trump Organization.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.