The Trump Organization is expected to be hit with criminal charges as soon as next week by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office in a case that Trump attorneys say is tied to tax-related conduct, multiple people familiar with the matter tell NBC News.
“It looks like they are going to come down with charges against the company, and that is completely outrageous,” Ron Fischetti, an attorney for the Trumps, said after the development was first reported by The New York Times.
“I’ve been practicing for over 50 years, and I’ve never seen a case like this.”
Danny Frost, a spokesperson for Vance, declined to comment.
Fischetti said that “the corporate office will plead not guilty and we will make an immediate motion to dismiss the case against the corporation.”
Also potentially facing charges is the company’s longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, The Times reported.
“They could not get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate and tell them what they wanted to hear, and that’s why they are going forward with these charges,” Fischetti said. “They could not get him to cooperate because he would not say that Donald Trump had knowledge or any information that he may have been not deducting properly the use of cars or an apartment.”
NBC News first reported this year in an interview with Jennifer Weisselberg, Allen Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, that the Manhattan DA was probing schemes where Trump employees including the Weisselbergs were able to avoid paying taxes in exchange for benefits such as an apartment.
Fischetti said company lawyers met with Vance’s office on Thursday and tried to persuade the Manhattan DA’s office not to go forward.
NBC News confirmed this week that investigators had also been probing Matthew Calamari, the former Trump bodyguard who’s now the company’s chief operating officer. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the focus on Calamari, cited people close to the matter who said Calamari was being investigated over whether he received tax-free fringe benefits from the company.
Vance has been investigating a variety of allegations of financial improprieties against Trump’s company. Court documents show that Vance is probing “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” which could include falsifying business records, insurance fraud and tax fraud.
The investigation appears to have picked up steam in recent months, after Vance’s office won a lengthy battle to get ahold of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns and underlying financial documents in February.
Investigators from the New York attorney general’s office have since joined Vance’s team. The AG’s office has been criminally investigating Weisselberg’s personal taxes, an official close to the investigation told NBC News last month.
The DA also reportedly convened a special grand jury to begin hearing evidence in the case last month, The Washington Post reported, a development legal experts called a sign that charges could be imminent.
The former president ripped the report about the special grand jury at the time and called the investigation into the company “purely political” and “a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history.”
Fischetti said Friday that Trump is angry.
“Mr. Trump is outraged that they are still going after him by going after his company where he has loyal employees for decades,” Fischetti said.