UPDATED with Weisselberg surrender: The Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg voluntarily turned himself in to New York prosecutors this morning to face criminal charges in an ongoing probe of former President Donald Trump’s real estate business.
Weisselberg’s lawyers said he intends to plead not guilty “and will fight theses charges in court.” Charges will be unsealed later today at New York Supreme Court.
The Trump loyalist turned himself in to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office shortly after 6 am ET.
A grand jury handed down indictments Wednesday against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.
PREVIOUSLY: The Trump Organization and its CFO, a longtime Donald Trump employee and loyalist, are expected to be charged Thursday in New York with tax-related and other offenses., according to legal sources.
Charges against Allen Weisselberg are said to focus on his failing to pay taxes on fringe benefits from the company ranging from a rent-free apartment to college tuition and other perks. He’s expected to turn himself to authorities — the first shoe to drop in a broad criminal inquiry into the former president’s real estate business led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance working with New York Attorney General Letitica James.
Trump Organization attorneys said they met with local prosecutors recently in an attempt to persuade them not to proceed with their case but were unsuccessful.
Vance has been probing the Trump family business for possible fraud involving banks, insurance companies and taxes, particularly whether it manipulated property values up and down to obtain loans, on one hand, and pay lower taxes, on the other.
The legal battle saw Trump’s accounting firm forced to turn over eight years of tax records in a case that went to the Supreme Court.
The charges come after a special grand jury convened to consider possible criminality by the president, his business associates and the company itself returned indictments today.
Weisselberg worked for the Trump Organization for nearly 50 years. (In 2004, he appeared in an episode of The Apprentice.) Vance’s office has been trying to flip him to testify against his long serving boss, who is not expected to be charged tomorrow. This ratchets up the pressure.
Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law is prepared to testify against him at trial following criminal charges.
(Dominic Patten contributed to this report)