Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Thursday morning ahead of expected criminal charges against him and the company for alleged tax crimes, according to his attorney.
Weisselberg is scheduled to be arraigned in a lower Manhattan courthouse later Thursday. Mary Mulligan and Bryan Skarlatos, Weisselberg’s attorneys, said he intends to enter a not guilty plea and “will fight these charges in court.”
According to two sources familiar with the situation, the indictments were filed by a Manhattan grand jury on Wednesday and are expected to be unsealed around 2 p.m. ET on Thursday. It was not immediately clear what charges they are expected to face or how many of them they will face.
Despite the fact that former President Donald Trump was the subject of numerous federal and state investigations during his presidency, the district attorney’s indictment would be the first to charge his namesake company, the Trump Organization, with conduct that occurred while he was in charge.
Trump’s attorney has stated that he does not expect to be charged. The indictment of the Trump Organization is the result of a two-year investigation by the district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., which began with questions about accounting practices related to hush-money payments made by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and ended with a Supreme Court battle over a subpoena for Trump’s tax documents.
Prosecutors rarely bring charges solely based on fringe benefits provided by a company, according to tax evasion lawyers, and in recent weeks, lawyers for the Trump Organization met with prosecutors in Vance’s office in the hopes of persuading them not to bring the case.
Weisselberg is being used “as a pawn” by Manhattan prosecutors, according to a statement released by the Trump Organization on Thursday.
“The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics,” said the statement, attributed to a spokesperson from the Trump Organization.
Prosecutors have looked into a wide range of possible violations, including whether the real-estate firm misled lenders and insurers or committed tax fraud, and have even hired a special prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, to help with the investigation. However, in recent months, the focus has shifted to benefits taxes.
It centered on Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime lieutenant and top company executive who has worked for him since 1973.
Prosecutors began gathering evidence on Weisselberg late last year with the help of his former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg. Her lawyer told CNN that she has turned over boxes of financial records and met with investigators multiple times in the months since she began speaking with authorities.
Thousands of dollars in payments for cars, rent, tuition, medical bills, and more went from Allen Weisselberg to his son’s family, according to documents from Jennifer Weisselberg’s divorce from Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry.
An indictment of Weisselberg would increase the pressure on him to cooperate with prosecutors in their broad investigation of Trump, the company, and its executives, something prosecutors have been requesting for months but which his lawyers have told authorities he has rejected.