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Former US President Donald Trump addresses his supporters at a “Save America” ​​rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

  • A tax evasion indictment against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg personally named Donald Trump.

  • Still, his attorney Ronald Fischetti told Insider he didn’t think the Manhattan district attorney would charge the ex-president.

  • He said Trump’s tax savings in the alleged fraud scheme would amount to “fucking pennies.”

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

A lawyer representing Donald Trump said he was not concerned that the former president would be personally named in the indictment against his namesake company, telling Insider he was confident Trump would not be indicted in the Manhattan District Attorney’s long-standing investigation.

Prosecutors appointed Trump to indict unsealed documents on July 1. They said he cut checks to family members of the Trump organization’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, whom they also accused of tax crimes.

Trump Corporation staff, including Weisselberg, arranged for the tuition fees of Weisselberg’s family members to be paid by personal checks drawn on the account and signed by Donald J. Trump, then drawn on the account of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, “prosecutors alleged in the indictment.

Trump’s attorney, Ronald Fischetti, told Insider that the mention had no bearing on the former president’s personal legal exposure in the prosecutor’s investigation. He said Trump paid the tuition personally, rather than through corporate accounts, and took “no deductions” from them.

“All that money paid [Weisselberg’s] His grandson’s tuition – at the same school that Donald Trump’s son Barron goes to – was paid for by Donald Trump personally, never by the company, ”Fischetti said. “No check has ever gone from the company to pay for these tuition fees.

Fischetti said Trump paid the tuition because Weisselberg’s son Barry was going through an acrimonious separation from his wife, Jennifer Weisselberg. Trump wanted to make sure that the grandchildren of a “trusted employee” could stay at their school, Fischetti said.

“Donald Trump, out of generosity, paid him personally,” Fischetti said. “No deductions, nothing at all.”

Trump Organization set to stand trial next year

Weisselberg and lawyers for the Trump organization have pleaded not guilty to a 15-count indictment, where prosecutors described a massive alleged tax scheme in which Weisselberg dodged taxes on $ 1.7 million of his income, much of which they said was in the form of benefits. like tuition, apartments and cars.

More than $ 359,000 of that untaxed compensation took the form of tuition fees from 2012 to 2017, prosecutors said. They alleged that the tuition was classified as compensation in the internal files of the Trump organization, but not on Weisselberg’s personal tax forms.

Donald Trump’s lawyer says he’s not worried prosecutors named Trump personally in the tax fraud indictment against his namesake company

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg appears in Manhattan State Supreme Court on Monday, September 20, 2021 in New York City. Jefferson Siegel / The New York Times via AP

Fischetti said Trump paying tuition fees out of his own pocket, rather than company coffers, indicated the ex-president had already paid all the appropriate taxes on his end.

“It’s not taxable for that person,” Fischetti said. “And it’s not a deduction for whoever gives it to them.”

Weisselberg’s grandchildren attended Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which was subpoenaed as part of the prosecutor’s investigation.

Since last fall, Jennifer Weisselberg has been a cooperating witness and provided treasure troves of documents to prosecutors. She told Insider in an interview earlier this year that the Trump Organization sometimes offers employees perks like apartments and tuition instead of monetary bonuses in order to control their lives.

In a hearing Monday, New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan said lawyers for Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have until January 2022 to review 6 million pages of documents in the case and submit pre-trial motions. Merchan told lawyers to expect a trial to begin in August or September 2022.

Fischetti said Trump’s tax savings in the alleged fraud scheme would amount to “fucking pennies”

Bryan Skarlatos, a lawyer representing Weisselberg in the case, told the court on Monday that he expected more indictments from the grand jury investigation.

Fischetti told Insider he didn’t expect Trump to be among those charged. He said the tax savings described by prosecutors would amount to “fucking pennies” for the former president.

“This guy is a billionaire. What will he get out of it?” he said, adding, “These are fucking pennies! This is ridiculous. They have nothing on the president. Absolutely nothing.”

Fischetti said he met with prosecutors in June and they provided no evidence Trump had personal knowledge or involvement in the alleged tax scheme.

“They didn’t say anything about the president knowing about this,” Fischetti said. “They have no records, they have no email, they have no text. They have no documents. They have nothing!”

Donald Trump’s lawyer says he’s not worried prosecutors named Trump personally in the tax fraud indictment against his namesake company

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, center, waits for a car after appearing in New York City court on Monday, September 20, 2021. Photo AP / Craig Ruttle

Prosecutors typically meet with attorneys for people they plan to charge with white-collar crimes shortly before charges, but Fischetti said he has not heard from the district attorney’s team since that meeting. summer. Mark Pomerantz – Fischetti’s former legal partner and a prominent member of the Manhattan DA team – assured Fischetti he would give him a chance to defend Trump before laying charges.

Lawyers for other witnesses who testified before the grand jury said none of the clients had anything to say about Trump’s personal involvement, according to Fischetti. He said prosecutors’ only hope to possibly indict Trump was to “compel” people to tell the grand jury that they had acted on Trump’s instructions.

“The only thing they could have are witnesses who would walk into the grand jury and say, ‘Yeah, I have a free car and I have a free apartment, and he deducted it from my salary or would give it to me as a bonus for the company to make money, ”Fischetti told Insider. “He needs witnesses! He has none! Zero!

A representative from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment for this story.

Prosecutors are also said to have investigated whether the Trump organization broke tax laws by keeping two books in order to obtain favorable tax, insurance and loan rates, as well as whether the company violated the laws on the financing of electoral campaigns by facilitating the payments of secret money. to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Fischetti said he had heard nothing about the charges related to those investigations.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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