New York: The Trump Organisation and Allen Weisselberg, the Chief Financial Officer have been charged in a tax-related investigation after a three-year-long probe. This is the first time Donald Trump's company has been charged with a crime.
The 73-year-old Weisselberg is reported to have not been cooperating with the investigation.
Tax violations related to the benefits the firm provided to its top executives are part of the charge sheet, reported the Associated Press. The benefits included the use of apartments, cars, and school tuition.
New York prosecutors have been building cases against the former president of the USA for years. Prosecutors are still investigating the allegations of "hush money" paid to women who claimed to have has sexual relations with Donald Trump. Another probe is underway into claims of real estate manipulation as well, said The Guardian report.
Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified in 2019 that Weisselberg helped orchestrate a cover-up to reimburse him for a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actor who claimed to have had sex with Trump.
He also testified that he and Weisselberg created false valuations of Trump's real estate holdings to devalue assets for tax purposes and inflated them for loan agreements.
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance and New York state attorney general, Letitia James, are investigating both those allegations.
Jennifer Weisselberg, the ex-wife of Allen Weisselberg's son Barry, told the New York Times that the only person with thorough knowledge of the Trump Organisation is Donald Trump. She is known to supply hundreds of pages of tax documents to Vance's investigation into Trump's business after her divorce.
Trump had called Vance's office "rude, nasty, and totally biased" for investigating him. His lawyers also met with Manhattan prosecutors in an attempt to dissuade them from charging the Trump Organisation. They were given time till Monday to make the case as to why the criminal charges should not be filed.
Donald Trump has already begun campaign-style rallies to position himself as a likely candidate for the presidency in 2024. But the case poses a serious challenge to his political ambitions.