12:12 PM PT — The Trump Organization, Weisselberg and Trump Payroll Corp. have all just been charged with 15 felony counts … including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. Weisselberg has pled not guilty.
Weisselberg, who was seen arriving in court in handcuffs, is alleged to have avoided taxes on $1.7 million in income. Prosecutors allege the scheme dates all the way back to 2005.
Prosecutors allege the “off-the-books tax fraud scheme” included execs getting “secret pay raises” and not paying taxes.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “We allege, among other things, financial wrongdoing whereby the Trump Organization engaged in a scheme with Mr. Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes on certain compensation.”
The Trump Organization released a statement saying Weisselberg is being used as a “pawn in a scorched-earth attempt to harm the former president.”
Weisselberg has been released on his own recognizance but had to turn in his passport.
Allen Weisselberg — the chief financial officer for The Trump Organization — has surrendered to authorities in NY to face criminal tax evasion charges.
Weisselberg turned himself in Thursday morning … though we’re told his team has not received a copy of the indictment so they’re not sure about the charges.
The indictment will be unsealed in NY State Supreme Court later in the day when Weisselberg and lawyers for the org appear in court.
The charges stem from unpaid taxes on perks that include bonuses, cars and school tuition for Trump Organization execs. Weisselberg is the first top exec to be indicted in a long-running probe by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office and NY Attorney General. The Trump org will also be charged, though no members of the Trump family are expected to face charges.
Weisselberg’s lawyer has made it clear up to this point … he will not cooperate with prosecutors, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the end game here is not Weisselberg. The D.A. has set his sights on Donald Trump for years now, and it’s pretty clear his end game is to get Trump’s longtime accountant to flip on him
Weisselberg has worked for Trump since the 1980s and has a treasure trove of knowledge about the business … something that could be problematic for the Trump family.
Originally published — 6:57 AM PT
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