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NY attorney general’s office opens criminal tax investigation into Trump Organization CFO: CNN

  • The New York attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating Allen Weisselberg.
  • Investigators are aiming to find leverage against the longtime Trump aide, CNN reported. 
  • Prosecutors’ attempts to sway Weisselberg could ramp up legal pressure on Trump and his family. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Both the New York attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are looking into the taxes and personal finances of Allen Weisselberg, a top Trump Organization officer, in an attempt to find leverage that could convince the longtime Trump employee to cooperate with authorities, according to a new CNN report.

The news comes one day after the New York attorney general’s office announced its investigation into the Trump Organization was no longer “purely civil in nature,” and had become a criminal probe — one that has been ongoing since at least March according to the New York Daily News

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Cyrus Vance Jr. who leads the Manhattan district attorney’s office, are coordinating on the criminal investigation into Weisselberg, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing. 

James’ office has been investigating Weisselberg’s personal finances for several months, according to CNN, but people familiar with the probe told the outlet the investigation could expand to include actions he took in his role at the Trump Organization. 

Those investigators are now working with Vance’s office, which has been looking into the Trump Organization, the former president’s tax returns, and more recently, company perks the organization extended to employees.

The district attorney’s office is also looking into Weisselberg’s finances and benefits he and his son received from Trump, CNN reported.

Prosecutors’ attempts to sway Weisselberg could ramp up legal pressure on Trump and his family. 

Trump responded to the team-up on Wednesday, calling the investigation a “political and partisan Witch Hunt.” But even before Vance and James’ offices began cooperating, their investigations had been in progress for more than two years.

Prosecutors are said to be exploring the possibility there was a policy at the Trump Organization to offer employees benefits and perks instead of salaries in order to keep payroll taxes low, CNN reported. 

Investigators are also said to be looking into rent payments on Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment. 

Documents shared by Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, sparked the attorney general’s criminal investigation into the longtime Trump aide, according to CNN. 

Jennifer Weisselberg has been cooperating with prosecutors since September.

Her attorney Duncan Levin told Insider on Wednesday they have been in contact with prosecutors from both offices and have been in contact with the criminal division of the attorney general’s office “for a while now.”

“So it does not come as news to us that criminal investigators from the attorney general’s office are involved in this probe,” he said. “Jennifer continues to be cooperative with both offices and responsible to them for whatever they need.”

Jennifer Weisselberg was married to Alan Weisselberg’s son, Barry Weisselberg, for 14 years. Barry managed some Trump Organization businesses for years, though it is unclear if he is still a Trump Organization employee. 

Jennifer and Barry’s excessive spending habits during their marriage is what initially attracted attention from investigators in both offices, according to CNN. During a 2018 divorce deposition obtained by the news outlet, Barry testified the couple’s lifestyle was mostly funded by his father, Allen. 

Jennifer told CNN investigators have previously questioned her about perks she received during her marriage, including rent-free apartments owned by Trump. Prosecutors are also said to be looking into tuition payments made by Alan Weisselberg for the couple’s children.

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