The Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, are headed toward a criminal trial for tax fraud in October, as a New York state judge refused to dismiss the indictment on Friday morning. New York Justice Juan Merchan shot down nearly every request by Trump’s family company and his finance man to dismiss the case. Merchan was unconvinced that prosecutors mishandled the grand jury indictment—and he tossed aside the claim that the case was politically motivated. “This trial's gonna take a long time,” prosecutor Joshua Adam Steinglass said in court.
(Reuters) - A New York state judge on Friday refused to dismiss criminal tax fraud charges against Donald Trump's namesake company and its longtime financial chief, one of a slew of legal battles involving the former U.S. president.
Justice Juan Merchan in Manhattan also said jury selection for the trial of the Trump Organization and its former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg will begin on Oct. 24, 15 days before the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Trump Org. CFO expected to plead guilty in NY tax case
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was scheduled to be tried in October on allegations he took more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the company, including rent, car payments and school tuition.
Donald Trump is not among the defendants.
The judge rejected arguments by Trump's New York City-based company and Weisselberg that they had been selectively prosecuted, and that federal courts were better positioned to determine whether the Internal Revenue Service had been defrauded, among other bids to dismiss charges.
The judge did toss one charge from the 15-count indictment against the Trump Organization because it had been brought too late.
Hearings on other motions are scheduled for September.
Video: Trump Organization, CFO's tax fraud trial set (Associated Press)
Trump Organization CFO expected to plead guilty in New York tax evasion case
The Trump Organization's finance chief is expected to plead guilty in a New York tax-evasion case, according to people familiar with the matter.Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was scheduled to be tried in October on allegations that he took more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the company, including rent, car payments and school tuition.
In the indictment, the Trump Organization and Weisselberg are accused of having defrauded tax authorities over 15 years by awarding "off-the-books" benefits to company executives.
Weisselberg was charged with evading $1.7 million of income, including rent for a Manhattan apartment, lease payments for two Mercedes-Benz vehicles and tuition for family members, with Trump signing checks for the tuition himself.
Other charges in the indictment include scheming to defraud, tax fraud and falsifying business records.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty. The Trump Organization could face fines and other penalties. Weisselberg is also charged with grand larceny, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term on conviction.
The charges arose from an investigation by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance's probe into Donald Trump's activities appeared to lose steam after Alvin Bragg succeeded him as district attorney in January.
John Stamos accidentally wore Bob Saget's shirt to 'Full House' costar Jodie Sweetin's wedding: 'Bob was there in his weird little way'
"It was this black button-up that Bob would always wear," Sweetin told E! News. "Bob always had a black button-up on."Just as his fashion choice defied the July heat in Washington, DC, jury selection commenced in spite of Bannon's last-ditch attempts to delay the trial in light of the publicity surrounding the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack.
Two prosecutors who had been leading the probe resigned in February, and one, Mark Pomerantz, has said he believed felony charges should be brought against the Republican former president but that Bragg indicated he had doubts.
Bragg's office has said the investigation is continuing.
Friday's hearing came as the United States is asking a federal judge in Florida to unseal a search warrant executed on Monday at Trump's Florida residence, along with a redacted list of the items retrieved by FBI agents.
Separately, Trump spent several hours on Wednesday in a deposition for New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil probe into his business practices.
Trump refused to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)