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The Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer have been charged with 15 felonies in the United States, including tax fraud, larceny and conspiracy.
Longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, and the Organization have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors have alleged the company had a scheme that compensated Weisselberg and other executives in ways that were 'off the books', according to Vice News.
The alleged scheme channeled money meant for Trump Organization employees that was designed to be hidden from tax officials. This allowed the company to 'substantially understate their compensation from the Trump Organization'.
The CFO has been accused of being 'one of the largest individual beneficiaries of the defendants' scheme'. He's worked for the Organization since the 1970s and prosecutors reckon he benefitted from the scheme to the tune of $1.76 million.
In addition to that, the scheme allegedly helped pay the CFO's rent, utilities and garage expenses at a New York City apartment. It also went towards paying for tuition at an expensive private school for Weisselberg's relatives, expensive cars and 'personal holiday gratuities'.
Donald Trump wasn't personally named in the charges, however legal experts believe the allegations would involve the company's top brass.
General counsel for the Manhattan DA's office, Carey Dunn, told the court: "This was a 15-year-long tax fraud scheme. It was orchestrated by the most senior executives. To put it bluntly, this was a sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme."
Dunne also said politics played no role in the decision to bring charges against Weisselberg or the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg arrived in court Thursday (July 1) with his hands handcuffed behind his back and a face mask on. He was forced to hand over his passport as the prosecution believe he is a flight risk.
Donald Trump has slammed the investigation.
In a statement issued online, the former US President said: "The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!
"He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President.
"The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics."
However, Vice News reports this dangles Trump perilously close to 'criminal jeopardy'.
Documents related to the scheme include references to actions undertaken by an unnamed 'Unindicted Coconspirator #1'. This number one individual helped play a role in under reporting Weisselberg's taxable income for the year 2009.
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