KEY POINTS

  • The charges are "related to allegations of unpaid taxes on benefits for the firm’s executives"
  • CFO Allen Weisselberg is expected to surrender Thursday
  • Trump and his sons "aren’t expected to face imminent charges"

The Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. 

It is still unclear what charges former President Donald Trump’s company and its CFO will face. The criminal indictments will remain sealed until Thursday afternoon. According to people familiar with the case, the charges were related to allegations of unpaid taxes on benefits for the firm’s executives. The benefits included a company car and a corporate apartment to Weisselberg, according to Bloomberg.

Weisselberg, considered the most important figure in the Trump Organization who is not related to Trump, is expected to surrender and arraigned Thursday. He has served the Trumps for over 40 years and negotiated the former president’s loans, is a co-signer on his accounts, and also helps arrange his taxes, the report said.

He, along with Trump’s sons, had also overseen the trust that held all of the former president’s assets while he was in office, it added.

The Trump Organization will also be arraigned later in the day, The Washington Post reported.  Neither Trump nor his sons are expected to be included in the charges, which will be detailed in the afternoon, stated the Bloomberg report. 

If the Trump Organization is convicted of financial charges, it could be forced to pay a $10,000 fine per count penalty and a separate amount for restitution. It could also lose its partnerships with other businesses, banks, and municipalities. 

“If you are a bank, are you going to lend money to a company accused of a financial crime? If you are another company, would you do business with another that has been indicted? The answer is frequently no,” Daniel Horwitz, a defense attorney, and a former Manhattan prosecutor told the Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s indictments are the first to come from investigations launched by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

The indictments could be the first in a possible series of charges the Trump Organization could face. Attorney General James has also been investigating whether the company illegally inflated or deflated the value of its property. 

James’ probe began in 2019 after Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, admitted to committing finance violations, tax evasion, and bank fraud in February 2019. Cohen provided several documents to the House Oversight Committee during his testimony.

“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes,” he had said, according to The New York Times.

The former president's blog -- "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" -- was canned after being launched only a month ago The former president's blog -- "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" -- was canned after being launched only a month ago Photo: AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS