WORLD Trump Organization faces legal pitfalls from bad actions


Trump Organization faces legal pitfalls from bad actions

Global Times

20:03, June 29, 2021

Former US president Donald Trump is seen on a screen during his campaign-style rally in Ohio, US, on Saturday (Photo: AFP)

Lawyers for the Trump Organization were making a last-ditch effort on Monday to ward off what appeared to be an impeding criminal indictment of the ex-president's company, according to US media.

A series of reports in recent days seem to indicate that closed-door investigations into the business practices of the former New York real estate mogul -- a case opened more than two years ago by the Manhattan district attorney and two Democratic members of Congress, and focusing on alleged financial fraud - are about to bear fruit.

According to several media outlets, including the Washington Post, lawyers for the Trump Organization, an unlisted family holding company that owns golf clubs, hotels and luxury properties, were presenting their final arguments to prosecutors Monday to forestall charges.

A face-to-face meeting was scheduled, according to CNN.

Other anonymous sources quoted by the New York Times hinted that an indictment was under consideration over fringe benefits paid to the company's financial chief Allen Weisselberg, and not declared to tax authorities.

Questioned by AFP, neither prosecutors nor lawyers for the Trump Organization, nor Weisselberg himself would confirm the reports.

Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, simply told CNN that prosecutors have so far not been "receptive" to arguments against filing a charge.

Trump himself appeared to confirm the reports when he issued a statement condemning the investigation as politically motivated and saying "now they just leaked that we were given one day, today, to make our case about things that are standard practice throughout the US business community, and in no way a crime."

For Bennett Gershman, a law professor at Pace University and a former Manhattan attorney, an indictment should be a matter of "days now, not weeks." Many forensic experts deem that unlikely, and expect Weisselberg - the man often described as the keeper of the company's secrets, and who has so far refused to cooperate with the justice system - to be indicted as well, either at the same time as the Trump Organization or soon thereafter.

"It's unusual to charge a corporation," said Gershman.

"He doesn't follow the rules, he never did follow the rules," Barbara Res, the former vice-president of the Trump Organization, told CNN.

"He deserves to go to jail for a long time," said Res.

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