Politics

NY AG Announces Investigation Into Trump Organization Is Now Criminal 

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New York’s attorney general is now investigating the Trump Organization for criminal offenses, it emerged on Tuesday night.

The office, led by Letitia James, had been investigating the company for civil tax offenses since early 2019. The investigation has now escalated.

‘We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the Organization is no longer purely civil in nature,’ said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the office.

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‘We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.’

The district attorney’s office, led by Cyrus Vance, has been investigating possible criminal tax fraud since 2018.

A person familiar with the investigation told CNN that several investigators with the James’s office, who are considered experts on the Trump Organization, have joined Vance’s team.

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The notice from James’s office was sent in late April to attorneys for the Trump Organization, The Washington Post said.

It suggested that criminality could apply to actions by current and former company executives and employees if the investigation finds wrongdoing, a source told the paper.

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It was not immediately clear why the two law enforcement agencies are now collaborating years into their previously separate investigations.

Partnerships between the two New York law enforcement offices are rare.

Trump has previously called the New York attorney general’s investigation politically motivated, and Eric Trump – who has spoken to James’s team – responded to The Washington Post’s request for comment with a video montage of James criticizing his father.

Trump was in New York City on Monday and Tuesday, having left Florida for the summer.

Much of the attention at the moment from Vance appears focused on the chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, and attempts to encourage him to ‘flip’ on his longtime boss.

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Sources told the Wall Street Journal last week that Vance’s office has issued a subpoena against Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School over $500,000 in fee payments made for Weisselberg’s grandchildren.

Those payments were made between 2012 and 2019 using checks signed by both Trump and Weisselberg, it is claimed.

They are said to have been made as a form of financial assistance to Weisselberg’s son Barry and his ex-wife Jessica so their two children could attend the school.

Barry managed Trump’s ice rink in New York’s Central Park on a salary of $223,000, until the city officials axed their contract with the ex-president this year.

He claims not to have been able to afford for his children to pay to attend Columbia Grammar & Prep, located on New York’s Upper West Side.

His former spouse Jennifer has claimed they believed the school fees were part of Barry’s payment package.

Vance’s investigation is said to center on whether the fee payments should have been flagged as gifts or loans, rather than as ‘financial assistance.’

If so, they should have incurred tax, meaning the Weisselbergs may have evaded their dues to the IRS with the payment arrangement.

The school has indicated it will comply … (Read more)

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