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New York prosecutors subpoenaed a property tax agency as part of a criminal investigation into Trump's business dealings

 

Kelsey Vlamis

Sat, February 20, 2021, 1:53 AM
 
 
trump impeached
 
Getty
  • Officials are investigating if Donald Trump manipulated the value of his assets for loan and tax benefits.

  • The Manhattan DA's office subpoenaed a property tax agency as part of the criminal investigation.

  • It is just one of many legal challenges facing Trump since he left office last month.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office subpoenaed a property tax agency as part of a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump's business dealings, Reuters reported on Friday.

The New York City Tax Commission confirmed that they received the subpoena, which could likely result in detailed income and expense statements from the Trump Organization being turned over to the DA's office.

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Manhattan's district attorney hired a top prosecutor who pursued mafia bosses to investigate Trump

Tom Porter

Fri, February 19, 2021, 6:51 AM
 
 
Mark Pomerantz
 
Mark Pomerantz at a 2008 press conference in New York City. Chris Hondros/Getty Images
  • Manhattan's district attorney hired top prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to join its Trump investigation.

  • Pomerantz has a long career prosecuting white-collar crime and organized crime.

  • The Manhattan DA is investigating whether the Trump Organization committed financial crimes.

Manhattan's district attorney has hired a top prosecutor who specializes in white-collar and organized crime to join its investigation into Donald Trump and his businesses.

Mark Pomerantz, who has a long career as a federal prosecutor and trial attorney, was sworn in on February 3 as an assistant district attorney, Danny Frost, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney's office, told Insider.

The New York Times first reported the hire.

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Trump’s former fixer Cohen interviewed by Manhattan DA’s office and newly hired litigator

e90d89ccb99e16c8c34866a2d1de3f16

Jason Szep and Peter Eisler

Thu, February 18, 2021, 9:00 PM
 
 

By Jason Szep and Peter Eisler

(Reuters) - The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and a newly hired high-profile litigator interviewed Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Thursday, as part of a criminal probe of the former president’s business dealings, said two people familiar with the investigation.

The interview came after Mark Pomerantz, who has extensive experience in white-collar and organized crime cases, joined District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s team investigating the Trump family business. Pomerantz started on Feb. 2 as special assistant district attorney, said Danny Frost, a spokesman for Vance.

Pomerantz’s hiring is part of a flurry of recent activity in Vance’s investigation, including the issuance in recent days of roughly a dozen new subpoenas, according to the sources. One of those went to Ladder Capital Finance LLC, a major creditor used by Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, to finance the former president’s commercial real estate holdings, the sources said.

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Well, shit!

Hey Trumpanzees what say you, scamdemic, media witch hunt, TDS and all?

Could it be real, could it be fun, could it be real fun?

Yes, maybe not for you.... but yes.

Whattaya think, wait.... that's not what a Trumpy ball sack licker does. Oh well, do you....

bgw

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Trump may soon have to answer rape allegations under oath

662278094025f4f02409f74bc6f88d52
 
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to West Point, New York from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington
 
Linda So
Tue, February 23, 2021, 6:01 AM
 
 

By Linda So

(Reuters) - During a December visit to New York City, writer E. Jean Carroll says she went shopping with a fashion consultant to find the “best outfit” for one of the most important days of her life - when she’ll sit face-to-face with the man she accuses of raping her decades ago, former President Donald Trump.

The author and journalist hopes that day will come this year. Her lawyers are seeking to depose Trump in a defamation lawsuit that Carroll filed against the former president in November 2019 after he denied her accusation that he raped her at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Trump said he never knew Carroll and accused her of lying to sell her new book, adding: “She’s not my type.”

She plans to be there if Trump is deposed.

 

“I am living for the moment to walk into that room to sit across the table from him,” Carroll told Reuters in an interview. “I think of it everyday.”

Carroll, 77, a former Elle magazine columnist, seeks unspecified damages in her lawsuit and a retraction of Trump’s statements. It is one of two defamation cases involving sexual misconduct allegations against Trump that could move forward faster now that he has left the presidency. While in office, Trump’s lawyers delayed the case in part by arguing that the pressing duties of his office made responding to civil lawsuits impossible.

“The only barrier to proceeding with the civil suits was that he’s the president,” said Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and now an adjunct professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law.

“I think there will be a sense among the judges that it’s time to get a move on in these cases,” said Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney.

An attorney for Trump and another representative of the former president did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump faces a similar defamation lawsuit from Summer Zervos, a former contestant on his reality television show “The Apprentice.” In 2016, Zervos accused Trump of sexual misconduct, saying that he kissed her against her will at a 2007 meeting in New York and later groped her at a California hotel as the two met to discuss job opportunities.

Trump denied the allegations and called Zervos a liar, prompting her to sue him for defamation in 2017, seeking damages and a retraction. Trump tried unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed, arguing that, as president, he was immune from suits filed in state courts. His lawyers appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, which is still considering the case. Zervos filed a motion in early February asking the court to resume the case now that Trump’s no longer president.

Zervos and Carroll are among more than two dozen women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct that they say occurred in the years before he became president. Other accusers include a former model who claims Trump sexually assaulted her at the 1997 U.S. Open tennis tournament; a former Miss Universe pageant contestant who said Trump groped her in 2006; and a reporter who alleges Trump forcibly kissed her without her consent in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump has denied the allegations and called them politically motivated.

In September, after several unsuccessful attempts by Trump’s lawyers to get Carroll’s case dismissed or delayed, U.S. Justice Department officials under his administration took the unusual step of asking that the government be substituted for Trump as the defendant in the case. Justice Department lawyers argued that Trump, like any typical government employee, is entitled under federal law to immunity from civil lawsuits when performing his job. They argued that he was acting in his capacity as president when he said Carroll was lying.

Legal experts said it was unprecedented for the Justice Department to defend a president for conduct before he took office. When Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected that argument, the Justice Department appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule on it.

It’s yet to be seen whether Justice Department officials under President Joe Biden, who took office last month, will continue to defend the case on Trump’s behalf. The White House and the Justice Department declined to comment.

If the appeals court upholds Judge Kaplan’s decision, it would likely clear the way for Trump to be deposed by Carroll’s lawyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE DNA

Carroll’s lawyers are also seeking a DNA sample from Trump. Carroll says she still has the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly attacked her.

“I hung it in my closet,” she said.

Carroll said she randomly crossed paths with Trump in the Bergdorf Goodman’s store in the mid-1990s. Carroll, who hosted a TV talk show at the time, said Trump recognized her. The two chatted, she said. Trump asked her to pick out a gift for an unidentified woman, and they eventually ended up in the lingerie department. After asking her to try on a body suit, Trump closed the door in a dressing room, pinned her against a wall, unzipped his pants and sexually assaulted her, according to the complaint.

Carroll said she told two friends about the alleged attack shortly after it happened, but did not report Trump to police, fearing retribution from the wealthy and well-connected businessman. Decades later, Carroll went public with her story in a June 2019 New York magazine article, adapted from a new book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.”

She said she was inspired to recount the incident by the #MeToo movement, which emboldened women to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment. In photos shot for that story, Kaplan, at the request of the magazine’s photography director, wore the same black Donna Karan dress that she said she had worn on the day that Trump allegedly assaulted her.

When Carroll filed her lawsuit later in 2019, her lawyer, Kaplan, had a guard escort her to retrieve the dress from her closet for forensic testing. An analysis concluded no semen was found on the dress, but the DNA of an unidentified male was detected on the shoulder and sleeves, according to the Jan. 8, 2020 lab report, which was reviewed by Reuters.

If the dress does contain traces of Trump’s DNA, it would not prove his guilt. But a match could be used as evidence that he had contact with the dress and to help disprove his claims that he never met Carroll, according to two forensic experts not involved in the case.

“How his DNA got on that dress would be the argument,” said Monte Miller, a biochemist who runs a DNA analysis consultancy and previously worked at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s State Crime Laboratory. “It’s for the attorneys and the courts and everybody else to argue about why it’s there and how it got there.”

Carroll said she’s confident the DNA on the dress belongs to Trump and wants her day in court. She said she now sleeps with a gun next to her bed because she has received death threats since publicly accusing Trump.

“This defamation suit is not about me,” said Carroll, who meets regularly with other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. It’s about every woman “who can’t speak up.”

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After suing Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani, Dominion says it is going after others who spread claims of election fraud - and it's 'not ruling anyone out'

 
 
Grace Dean
Wed, February 24, 2021, 5:32 AM
 

Dominion Voting System's CEO said the company would continue to take legal action against people who spread baseless claims that its voting machines were used to "steal" the 2020 presidential election - and it isn't ruling anyone out.

Dominion has already filed defamation lawsuits against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and former president Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, seeking at least $1.3 billion in damages in each case.

The filing against Lindell on Monday "is definitely not the last lawsuit," Dominion CEO John Poulos told CNBC Tuesday.

Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people, The Washington Post reported. This includes the media outlets Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News.

 

When asked if the company would sue Fox News, Poulos said Dominion was "not ruling anyone out."

According a conspiracy theory, Dominion and Smartmatic, a rival election-technology company, developed technology that "flipped" votes from Trump to President Joe Biden through a method developed with the regime of now-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

The theory has been thoroughly debunked. But that didn't stop Powell and Giuliani pushing elements of the theory while filing a series of failed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the election. Lindell has also spread misinformation about the machines, saying Dominion "built them to cheat."

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Manhattan prosecutor gets Trump tax records after long fight

659473653cfe1c96f2eec9ae38a6ef23
 
 
 
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington. The president's legal entanglements are likely to intensify when leaves the White House in January 2021 and loses immunity from prosecution. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
MICHAEL R. SISAK
Thu, February 25, 2021, 10:52 AM
 
 

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York prosecutor has obtained copies of Donald Trump’s tax records after the Supreme Court this week rejected the former president’s last-ditch effort to prevent them from being handed over.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office enforced a subpoena on Trump’s accounting firm within hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday and now has the documents in hand, a spokesperson for the office, Danny Frost, said Thursday.

District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had been fighting for a year and a half for access to Trump’s tax records for a criminal grand jury investigation into his business dealings. The documents are protected by grand jury secrecy rules and are not expected to be made public.

Vance, a Democrat, is conducting a wide-ranging investigation that includes an examination of whether Trump or his businesses lied about the value of assets to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits. The district attorney is also scrutinizing hush-money payments paid to women on Trump’s behalf.

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Trump Hid ‘Fraud’ on Inheritance for Years, Niece Tells Judge

Erik Larson  14 hrs ago.
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s niece is balking at the former president’s claim that she waited too long to file her multi-million dollar fraud suit against him, saying she would have sued sooner if he hadn’t covered his tracks so well.
Mary Trump on Friday asked a judge to deny Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss the suit, which she filed in September against her uncle and his siblings, Robert Trump and Maryanne Trump Barry. She claims they conspired to skim tens of millions of dollars off her stake in the family business for decades after her father died and left them as her fiduciaries.
The suit by the daughter of Donald Trump’s late older brother, Fred Trump Jr., is one of several serious legal threats the former president faces as a private citizen. If the case in New York state court in Manhattan survives, he could be deposed under oath by the end of the year or early 2022.

The fight may hinge on New York’s statute of limitations, which is two years from the time a victim “discovered the fraud, or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it.” Donald Trump, Maryanne Trump and the estate of Robert Trump, who died in August, argue their niece could have sued much earlier based on documents they handed over in other legal disputes, including a bitter court fight over the family patriarch’s 1999 will.

But Mary Trump, a psychologist and author who wrote a damning tell-all book about the family last year, argues she didn’t discover the alleged decades-old scheme until October 2018, when the New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-winning report on Donald Trump’s finances. The documents handed over to Mary Trump in earlier legal matters were either unrelated to the alleged fraud or contained false information that couldn’t have tipped her off, she said

The Trump siblings “cannot avoid accountability for their fraud simply because they thought that they had gotten away with it years ago,” Mary Trump’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said in Friday’s filing.

James Kiley, who represents Donald Trump and the estate of Robert Trump, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Maryanne Trump Barry’s lawyer, Gary Freidman, declined to comment.

Mary Trump argues her uncles and aunt shouldn’t benefit in court just because they successfully duped her for years.

“The offensiveness of defendants’ past conduct -- stealing tens of millions of dollars from their own niece -- is perhaps surpassed only by the chutzpah of their current arguments for dismissal,” Mary Trump said.

The fraud was only uncovered because three investigative reporters at the New York Times had “access and information that Mary did not and never could have had,” including “tens of thousands of pages of confidential records” and invoices, as well as interviews with Fred Trump’s former employees and advisers, according to Mary Trump’s brief.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Manhattan prosecutors could be in the final stages of their wide-ranging investigation into Trump's finances

 
 
Sonam Sheth,Jacob Shamsian
Fri, March 12, 2021, 5:33 PM
 
 
trump
 
Former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 

After a months-long battle with Donald Trump over his closely held tax returns, the Manhattan district attorney's office may finally be in the end stages of its wide-ranging investigation into the former president's financial dealings.

Trump has repeatedly refused to release his tax returns. But in February, prosecutors notched a major victory when the Supreme Court forced Trump to hand over thousands of pages of his financial information to the DA's office.

The DA's investigation is examining whether Trump or his businesses falsely reported the value of properties for tax and loan purposes, which would violate New York law. In the weeks since prosecutors obtained his financial records, the investigation has ramped up significantly, according to media reports and two former prosecutors who spoke to Insider.

"They mean business now," one source told The New Yorker's Jane Mayer. The person believed Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s investigation had stagnated while Trump was in office and prosecutors were fighting a court battle to get his taxes. But now, the source told Mayer, prosecutors' questions have become "very pointed - they're sharpshooting now, laser-beaming."

 

"It hit me," this person added. "They're closer."

The clues are there. Vance announced Friday he wouldn't run for re-election. The move was widely expected, since Vance, who held the DA post since 2010, hasn't raised funds ahead of this summer's primary. His final day will be in December, and a former top deputy told Insider he believes Vance will want to make charging decisions before he leaves.

"Vance started the investigation," Daniel Alonso, now a partner at Buckley LLP, told Insider. "I'm sure he is absolutely pressing to have a decision made on whether to prosecute anyone, whom to prosecute, and for what charges, by the end of the year."

Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department, echoed that view and told Insider it wasn't surprising that the investigation's pace picked up after the Supreme Court ruling.

"You need documents and tax records to prove these cases. That's how they rise and fall," he said. "It's not witness testimony and emails; those things give context to the money. But this case is all about following the money, so it comes down to the tax records, which prosecutors now have full access to."

Representatives for Trump and the Trump Organization didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

Vance recruited a veteran prosecutor who worked on organized crime cases

Vance is likely personally involved in the details of the Trump investigation, according to Alonso. Eight candidates are vying to be his successor, though, and Alonso said there's "significant concern" in New York's legal community that not all of them are "qualified to oversee a case of this magnitude."

While virtually all of the candidates have criticized Trump at one point or another, they have mostly focused on local affairs in their campaigns. At a candidate forum in January, they demurred when asked how they'd handle the Trump case and largely avoided injecting political considerations into it.

In the meantime, Vance has set up an experienced team of white-collar prosecutors, including several of his own top officials. He also made the unusual decision in February to hire Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor who worked on organized-crime cases before joining the law firm Paul, Weiss as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.

"The team was in very good shape," Alonso said of Vance's office. "But the fact that Pomerantz agreed to come into the case strikes me as an indication that there is definitely something substantial there to investigate."

ProPublica reported in October 2019 that documents showed Trump appeared to keep two sets of books for his properties, suggesting potential financial fraud.

In November 2019, Mother Jones published an investigation that found that Trump might have fabricated a loan to avoid paying $50 million in income taxes. And The New York Times reported in 2018 that Trump used a series of dubious tax schemes to shield a $413 million inheritance from the IRS.

In 2019, an IRS whistleblower came forward and alleged that there were "inappropriate efforts to influence" the agency's mandatory audit of Trump's taxes. And late last year, The Times published another bombshell investigation showing that Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

Mark Pomerantz
 
Mark F. Pomerantz in 2008. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Cramer pointed to Pomerantz's previous experience prosecuting organized crime cases - he secured the 1999 conviction of the mob boss John Gotti's son - and said it could prove particularly useful to Vance's office as it scrutinizes the Trump Organization.

"Obviously Trump wasn't running an organized crime outfit. But there are some similarities, depending on how the enterprise, which is the Trump Organization in this case, was structured," Cramer said.

He noted, however, that Pomerantz's main value likely lies in his private sector experience.

"If you look at any of the good defense lawyers in the country, most of them are former prosecutors," Cramer said. "Prosecutors make good defense lawyers because they know both sides of cases. They can wear different hats and that's critical in helping put together a strong case."

That said, Alonso cautioned that Vance may choose to not bring charges against Trump at all.

"In investigations of accounting fraud, usually prosecutors suspect, and might even believe, that the CEO has the requisite knowledge and intent, but can't always prove it," Alonso said.

The precise scope of Vance's investigation is unclear, but court filings suggest the office could be examining whether Trump and the Trump Organization broke New York state tax laws by manipulating property values to obtain favorable tax rates and loan terms.

donald trump jr allen weisselberg
 
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Donald Trump Jr. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for prosecutors to get Trump's taxes, investigators have access to a potential treasure trove of information about the complex world of Trump's business activities.

The tax returns themselves, as well as the communications about them, are at the very heart of the probe. Vance hired FTI, a forensic accounting firm, to help pore over the data. Alonso said it could take some time.

"In the main part of the investigation, which is about valuations and about potential tax, bank, and insurance fraud, from what we know in the public record, they need to analyze those millions of pages of documents that they picked up from Mazars," Alonso said, referring to Trump's accounting firm. "That's not something that's done overnight."

By the end of the investigation, Alonso said, prosecutors will have a variety of paths to choose from depending on what they find.

"It might be that they charge the Trump organization itself, or one of its affiliated companies," he said. "It might be that they charge the CFO Allen Weisselberg if he doesn't cooperate. It might be that they charge one of the Trump children who helps manage the company. Or it might be that they charge a different executive. Or it might be nobody, at the end of the day."

"If they can't prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, they shouldn't be charging," he added.

'You'd better grab yourself some good lawyers'

In other parts of the investigation, prosecutors appear to be dotting I's and crossing T's.

Ralph Mastromonaco, an engineer who worked on Trump's Seven Springs estate in upstate New York - the valuation of which is under scrutiny from prosecutors, according to the Wall Street Journal - was subpoenaed by Manhattan prosecutors in recent weeks. But he told Insider that everything he supplied to prosecutors was already in the public record and filed with the local township of Bedford.

John Dean, President Richard Nixon's former White House counsel whose testimony about the Watergate scandal led to Nixon's resignation, said Friday he believed Vance's office could bring charges against Trump in just a matter of days.

trump flipped
 
Donald Trump. Getty

Dean based his observation on a Reuters report that said Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was going to meet with Manhattan prosecutors for the seventh time.

Cohen pleaded guilty to several felonies stemming from investigations into Trump by the Manhattan US attorney's office and the special counsel Robert Mueller. He testified to Congress in 2019 that Trump repeatedly inflated or deflated the value of his assets for loan and tax purposes, respectively, and he has extensively cooperated with prosecutors.

In a Friday morning tweet, Dean wrote that based on "personal experience as a key witness I assure you that you do not visit a prosecutor's office 7 times if they are not planning to indict those about whom you have knowledge. It is only a matter of how many days until DA Vance indicts Donald & Co."

Cramer emphasized that the precise timeline of the DA's investigation is still hard to gauge.

"But when the Manhattan DA's office has your tax returns and they're bringing in hired guns like Pomerantz who specialize in this type of work," he said, "You'd better grab yourself some good lawyers."

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On 3/12/2021 at 7:42 PM, DBP66 said:

Manhattan prosecutors could be in the final stages of their wide-ranging investigation into Trump's finances

 
 
Sonam Sheth,Jacob Shamsian
Fri, March 12, 2021, 5:33 PM
 
 
trump
 
Former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 

After a months-long battle with Donald Trump over his closely held tax returns, the Manhattan district attorney's office may finally be in the end stages of its wide-ranging investigation into the former president's financial dealings.

Trump has repeatedly refused to release his tax returns. But in February, prosecutors notched a major victory when the Supreme Court forced Trump to hand over thousands of pages of his financial information to the DA's office.

The DA's investigation is examining whether Trump or his businesses falsely reported the value of properties for tax and loan purposes, which would violate New York law. In the weeks since prosecutors obtained his financial records, the investigation has ramped up significantly, according to media reports and two former prosecutors who spoke to Insider.

"They mean business now," one source told The New Yorker's Jane Mayer. The person believed Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s investigation had stagnated while Trump was in office and prosecutors were fighting a court battle to get his taxes. But now, the source told Mayer, prosecutors' questions have become "very pointed - they're sharpshooting now, laser-beaming."

 

"It hit me," this person added. "They're closer."

The clues are there. Vance announced Friday he wouldn't run for re-election. The move was widely expected, since Vance, who held the DA post since 2010, hasn't raised funds ahead of this summer's primary. His final day will be in December, and a former top deputy told Insider he believes Vance will want to make charging decisions before he leaves.

"Vance started the investigation," Daniel Alonso, now a partner at Buckley LLP, told Insider. "I'm sure he is absolutely pressing to have a decision made on whether to prosecute anyone, whom to prosecute, and for what charges, by the end of the year."

Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department, echoed that view and told Insider it wasn't surprising that the investigation's pace picked up after the Supreme Court ruling.

"You need documents and tax records to prove these cases. That's how they rise and fall," he said. "It's not witness testimony and emails; those things give context to the money. But this case is all about following the money, so it comes down to the tax records, which prosecutors now have full access to."

Representatives for Trump and the Trump Organization didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

Vance recruited a veteran prosecutor who worked on organized crime cases

Vance is likely personally involved in the details of the Trump investigation, according to Alonso. Eight candidates are vying to be his successor, though, and Alonso said there's "significant concern" in New York's legal community that not all of them are "qualified to oversee a case of this magnitude."

While virtually all of the candidates have criticized Trump at one point or another, they have mostly focused on local affairs in their campaigns. At a candidate forum in January, they demurred when asked how they'd handle the Trump case and largely avoided injecting political considerations into it.

In the meantime, Vance has set up an experienced team of white-collar prosecutors, including several of his own top officials. He also made the unusual decision in February to hire Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor who worked on organized-crime cases before joining the law firm Paul, Weiss as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.

"The team was in very good shape," Alonso said of Vance's office. "But the fact that Pomerantz agreed to come into the case strikes me as an indication that there is definitely something substantial there to investigate."

ProPublica reported in October 2019 that documents showed Trump appeared to keep two sets of books for his properties, suggesting potential financial fraud.

In November 2019, Mother Jones published an investigation that found that Trump might have fabricated a loan to avoid paying $50 million in income taxes. And The New York Times reported in 2018 that Trump used a series of dubious tax schemes to shield a $413 million inheritance from the IRS.

In 2019, an IRS whistleblower came forward and alleged that there were "inappropriate efforts to influence" the agency's mandatory audit of Trump's taxes. And late last year, The Times published another bombshell investigation showing that Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

Mark Pomerantz
 
Mark F. Pomerantz in 2008. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Cramer pointed to Pomerantz's previous experience prosecuting organized crime cases - he secured the 1999 conviction of the mob boss John Gotti's son - and said it could prove particularly useful to Vance's office as it scrutinizes the Trump Organization.

"Obviously Trump wasn't running an organized crime outfit. But there are some similarities, depending on how the enterprise, which is the Trump Organization in this case, was structured," Cramer said.

He noted, however, that Pomerantz's main value likely lies in his private sector experience.

"If you look at any of the good defense lawyers in the country, most of them are former prosecutors," Cramer said. "Prosecutors make good defense lawyers because they know both sides of cases. They can wear different hats and that's critical in helping put together a strong case."

That said, Alonso cautioned that Vance may choose to not bring charges against Trump at all.

"In investigations of accounting fraud, usually prosecutors suspect, and might even believe, that the CEO has the requisite knowledge and intent, but can't always prove it," Alonso said.

The precise scope of Vance's investigation is unclear, but court filings suggest the office could be examining whether Trump and the Trump Organization broke New York state tax laws by manipulating property values to obtain favorable tax rates and loan terms.

donald trump jr allen weisselberg
 
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Donald Trump Jr. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for prosecutors to get Trump's taxes, investigators have access to a potential treasure trove of information about the complex world of Trump's business activities.

The tax returns themselves, as well as the communications about them, are at the very heart of the probe. Vance hired FTI, a forensic accounting firm, to help pore over the data. Alonso said it could take some time.

"In the main part of the investigation, which is about valuations and about potential tax, bank, and insurance fraud, from what we know in the public record, they need to analyze those millions of pages of documents that they picked up from Mazars," Alonso said, referring to Trump's accounting firm. "That's not something that's done overnight."

By the end of the investigation, Alonso said, prosecutors will have a variety of paths to choose from depending on what they find.

"It might be that they charge the Trump organization itself, or one of its affiliated companies," he said. "It might be that they charge the CFO Allen Weisselberg if he doesn't cooperate. It might be that they charge one of the Trump children who helps manage the company. Or it might be that they charge a different executive. Or it might be nobody, at the end of the day."

"If they can't prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, they shouldn't be charging," he added.

'You'd better grab yourself some good lawyers'

In other parts of the investigation, prosecutors appear to be dotting I's and crossing T's.

Ralph Mastromonaco, an engineer who worked on Trump's Seven Springs estate in upstate New York - the valuation of which is under scrutiny from prosecutors, according to the Wall Street Journal - was subpoenaed by Manhattan prosecutors in recent weeks. But he told Insider that everything he supplied to prosecutors was already in the public record and filed with the local township of Bedford.

John Dean, President Richard Nixon's former White House counsel whose testimony about the Watergate scandal led to Nixon's resignation, said Friday he believed Vance's office could bring charges against Trump in just a matter of days.

trump flipped
 
Donald Trump. Getty

Dean based his observation on a Reuters report that said Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was going to meet with Manhattan prosecutors for the seventh time.

Cohen pleaded guilty to several felonies stemming from investigations into Trump by the Manhattan US attorney's office and the special counsel Robert Mueller. He testified to Congress in 2019 that Trump repeatedly inflated or deflated the value of his assets for loan and tax purposes, respectively, and he has extensively cooperated with prosecutors.

In a Friday morning tweet, Dean wrote that based on "personal experience as a key witness I assure you that you do not visit a prosecutor's office 7 times if they are not planning to indict those about whom you have knowledge. It is only a matter of how many days until DA Vance indicts Donald & Co."

Cramer emphasized that the precise timeline of the DA's investigation is still hard to gauge.

"But when the Manhattan DA's office has your tax returns and they're bringing in hired guns like Pomerantz who specialize in this type of work," he said, "You'd better grab yourself some good lawyers."

A whole pallet of whoop ass coming for Trumpy and his minions. 
 

Huh, Conchita? @concha

bgw

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Trump's CFO's ex-daughter-in-law is cooperating with prosecutors and 'refuses to be silenced,' her lawyer says

 
 
Jacob Shamsian
Mon, March 15, 2021, 5:16 PM
 
 
donald trump jr allen weisselberg
 
Donald Trump along with Allen Weisselberg in 2017. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

An attorney representing the former daughter-in-law of the Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg says she's cooperating with prosecutors conducting an inquiry into Donald Trump's finances and "refuses to be silenced."

"Jennifer Weisselberg is committed to speaking the truth, no matter how difficult that may be," her attorney, Duncan Levin, told Insider in a statement. "She will continue to cooperate fully with the various law enforcement agencies that are investigating her ex-husband's family and the very powerful interests they represent."

"Jennifer refuses to be silenced any longer by those who are conspiring to prevent her from sharing what she has learned over the past 25 years," Levin added.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 department. When you come to be known as the Coca-Cola 
 
 
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Levin's comments come in response to a request for comment Friday about a New Yorker story on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s investigation into the former president and the Trump Organization. The story includes an anecdote from Jennifer Weisselberg, who told the New Yorker's Jane Mayer she met Trump at a shiva and that he shared photos of naked women at the Jewish mourning ceremony.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office is conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into Trump and his company. Court filings suggest prosecutors are focusing on whether they illegally kept two sets of books - one that painted a rosy financial picture to obtain favorable loan terms, another featuring grim data to pay less in taxes.

A major subject of the investigation is Allen Weisselberg, who for decades has been the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization and the personal bookkeeper of the Trump family. The Washington Post reported prosecutors are trying to "flip" Weisselberg into cooperating with the investigation.

Jennifer Weisselberg divorced Allen Weisselberg's son Barry in 2018. The couple received an apartment as a gift from Trump when they married in 2004, but Barry Weisselberg may have skipped out on paying taxes on it by categorizing it incorrectly in his tax filings, according to Bloomberg News. That apartment - as well as other numerous financial entanglements between the Weisselberg and Trump families - appear to be at the center of the effort to flip Weisselberg into cooperating.

Vance appears to be approaching the final stages of his investigation into Trump. He will retire at the end of 2021, he announced Friday.

"I'm sure he is absolutely pressing to have a decision made on whether to prosecute anyone, whom to prosecute, and for what charges, by the end of the year," Daniel R. Alonso, a former top Vance deputy, told Insider Friday.

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Associated Press

Trump's taxes in hand, Manhattan DA's probe heats up

JIM MUSTIAN and MICHAEL R. SISAK
Wed, March 17, 2021, 6:46 PM
 
 

NEW YORK (AP) — With former President Donald Trump’s tax returns finally in hand, a team of New York prosecutors led by a newly hired former mob-buster is sending out fresh subpoenas and meeting face-to-face with key witnesses, scrutinizing Trump's business practices in granular detail.

Amid the swirl of activity, the Manhattan district attorney's office is scheduled Friday to meet again with Trump's longtime former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

It would be the eighth time he has spoken with investigators working for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., dating to Cohen's time in federal prison for tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

The person familiar with the inquiry wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the interview and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

In a recent interview with Cohen, investigators asked questions about Trump's Seven Springs estate as part of an inquiry into whether the value of the 213-acre Westchester County property was improperly inflated to reduce his taxes.

Investigators asked Cohen about individuals involved in the appraisal of the estate and benefits derived from its valuation, including a $21 million income tax deduction.

Cohen was released to home confinement last year amid coronavirus fears, and his recent meetings have been conducted via video conference.

Vance's office declined to comment, as did Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis. A message seeking comment was sent to the Trump Organization.

Vance announced last week that he would leave office at the end of the year and not seek reelection, but in a memo to staff, he stressed that the investigation wouldn't stop.

“The work continues,” Vance wrote, echoing his short statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that he could have Trump's tax records.

Vance recently hired former mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz — who, as a federal prosecutor, oversaw the prosecution of Gambino crime boss John Gotti — as a special assistant district attorney to assist in the wide-ranging probe of Trump's finances.

The inquiry, according to court filings, includes an examination of whether Trump or his businesses lied about the value of assets to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits. The district attorney also is scrutinizing hush-money payments paid to women on Trump’s behalf.

After a lengthy legal battle, his office is now in possession of eight years of Trump’s tax records, including final and draft versions of tax returns, source documents containing raw financial data and other financial records held by his accounting firm.

Vance’s focus on Seven Springs involves an environmental conservation arrangement Trump made in return for a tax deduction at the end of 2015, following failed attempts to turn the property into a golf course and luxury homes.

Trump granted an easement to a conservation land trust to preserve 158 acres (60 hectares) and received a $21 million income tax deduction, equal to the value of the conserved land, according to records. The amount was based on a professional appraisal that valued the full Seven Springs property at $56.5 million as of Dec. 1, 2015.

That was a much higher amount than the evaluation by local government assessors, who said the entire estate was worth $20 million. Trump bought the property, including a palatial Georgian-style mansion that once belonged to the family of newspaper publisher Katharine Graham, for $7.5 million in 1995.

n a sign of prosecutors' deepening interest in Seven Springs, Vance's office has sent new subpoenas in recent weeks to local governments in the towns the property spans — Bedford, North Castle and New Castle — following up on an initial round of subpoenas issued in mid-December.

Vance's office has also subpoenaed material from people who worked on projects to develop the property for Trump, including an engineer who said his duties involved presenting plans to the local planning board.

The engineer, Ralph Mastromonaco, said Wednesday that he received Vance's subpoena in mid-February and promptly handed over the requested documents, including records of his work on the property and correspondence with the Trump Organization.

Mastromonaco was subpoenaed for similar material in December 2019 by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who also is investigating whether Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of his assets on annual financial statements in order to secure loans and obtain tax benefits.

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Jennifer Weisselberg said she gave investigators probing Trump's finances '7 boxes of documents' she got in her divorce from the Trump Org CFO's son

 
 
Jacob Shamsian
Thu, March 25, 2021, 7:10 PM
 
 
trump troubled
 
Donald Trump in September. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

 

Prosecutors learned details about the Trump Organization's finances after a key employee tried to withhold them in his divorce case, that employee's ex-wife told Insider.

The move backfired. The judge in the divorce case forced him to sit for a deposition and hand over the documents as part of a subpoena, according to Jennifer Weisselberg.

Video: Watch the implosion of Trump's failed Atlantic City casino

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Jennifer Weisselberg, now a cooperating witness in investigations into Trump's finances, said she ultimately got "seven boxes" of financial documents and gave them to investigators last fall.

"They picked up documents many times. They ended up taking seven boxes of my documents and scanning them, going through them," she told Insider, adding: "They took depositions, they took checks, routing numbers, bank account [information], and things like that."

Prosecutors in the New York Attorney General's office and Manhattan District Attorney's office are running parallel investigations into Trump's and his company's finances, looking into whether they distorted financial information in tax and loan documents. The Manhattan DA's office successfully subpoenaed the Trump Organization for millions of pages of documents in February, gaining a fuller picture of the company's financial affairs.

But an earlier peek into those finances came in September, when Jennifer Weisselberg handed her documents over. Weisselberg was married to Barry Weisselberg, the son of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, between 2004 and 2018. Barry Weisselberg is also a key employee of the Trump Organization in his own right, managing the Wollman Rink in Central Park in Manhattan.

Barry Weisselberg initially withheld financial information from Jennifer during divorce proceedings, she said. The divorce judge recognized perks he received from the Trump Organization - like their shared apartment - could have monetary value and should be considered during divorce negotiations, she said.

"The judge said there was a lot of imputed money," Jennifer Weisselberg said. "They subpoenaed a lot of things after Barry's deposition."

An attorney representing Barry Weisselberg didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

'I don't think they realized that I had that stuff'

Donald and Melania Trump gave Barry and Jennifer Weisselberg an apartment in the Trump Parc East Building in Manhattan as a wedding gift. It was part of many perks the Trump Organizations offered members of the Weisselberg family, as reported by Bloomberg's Cabe Melby in November.

Following the publication of that article, investigators in the New York Attorney General's office expressed renewed interest in the documents Jennifer Weisselberg gave them, she said.

"Since the Bloomberg article came out - I don't think they realized that I had that stuff," Weisselberg told Insider. "The AG came and they started picking up more boxes."

donald trump tower standing pose
 
Donald Trump poses for photographs in his Trump Tower office on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in New York. Diane Bondareff/Invision/AP

Weisselberg said the perks the Trump Organization offered, like the apartment and payments for their children's tuition, were used in lieu of normal salary raises. They functionally allowed the company to exercise a measure of control over their lives, she said.

"It's so controlling," she continued. "Because if you want to leave and make the same money - you live there. If you want to leave, where are you going to live?"

Jennifer Weisselberg said she's now glad to have left Trumpworld.

"I don't want anything to do with them," she said. "I don't want their money. I'm good."

Prosecutors in the Manhattan DA's office are now interested in "flipping" Allen Weisselberg to guide them through the millions of documents they've obtained, according to The Washington Post. They are looking into whether perks like the apartment broke tax laws, according to Bloomberg.

The office recently hired Mark Pomerantz, who has experience as a prosecutor pursuing mob bosses. It also sent a forensic accountant with experience analyzing mob finances to review Jennifer Weisselberg's documents, she said.

Representatives for the Trump Organization didn't immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Representatives for Allen Weisselberg, the Manhattan DA's office, and the New York Attorney General's office declined to comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Report: Manhattan prosecutors subpoena bank records of Trump Organization CFO

 
 
Catherine Garcia
Wed, March 31, 2021, 11:37 PM
 
 
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New York state prosecutors in Manhattan investigating former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization's finances have subpoenaed the bank records of Allen Weisselberg, the company's chief financial officer, The New York Times reports.

Several people with knowledge of the matter told the Times that prosecutors are also looking into gifts Weisselberg and his family received from Trump, including an apartment in New York City, and it appears this extra scrutiny may be part of an effort to get Weisselberg to cooperate with investigators. Weisselberg, 73, has worked at the Trump Organization for several decades, starting when Trump's late father, Fred Trump, ran the company. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

The investigation began with prosecutors looking into the Trump Organization's role in making hush money payments to two women who said they had extramarital affairs with Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, made a $130,000 payment to one of the women, porn actress Stormy Daniels, and said Weisselberg helped come up with the plan to have the Trump Organization reimburse Cohen.

The probe now has several facets, with investigators also looking into whether the Trump Organization has falsely reported property values in order to get loans and tax breaks. Several banks that work with Trump and the Trump Organization, including Capitol One and JPMorgan Chase, have reportedly turned their records over to prosecutors, who also obtained Trump's tax information in February.

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