November 27, 2022

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the Trump Organization’s trial on New York state criminal fraud charges.

The company was indicted by a grand jury in July 2021. It faces 14 counts related to allegations it provided untaxed “indirect employee compensation” to executives. The high-end perks, which included in at least one case an apartment and two luxury cars, were described as “secret pay raises at the expense of state and federal taxpayers” by a prosecutor at a hearing last year.

Among the witnesses expected to be called by the government is former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who in August entered a guilty plea in the case.

Weisselberg’s deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of five months in New York’s Rikers Island jail, followed by five years’ probation. He must also pay $1.9 million in back taxes and fines, and testify under oath as a witness in the company’s trial.

The company has denied wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case. Former President Donald Trump has not been personally charged in the case, though Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat whose office is prosecuting the case, has said that Trump remains under investigation.

Trump, a Republican, has called the case a “political witch hunt,” but the company’s attorneys will be unable to make that argument in court, Judge Juan Merchan said during a Sept. 12 pretrial hearing.

Merchan said he would not allow defense attorneys to “in any way to bring up a selective prosecution claim, or claim this is some sort of novel prosecution.”

The Trump Organization, Donald Trump and three of his children — Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump — are facing a separate civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office alleging a yearslong scheme to enrich themselves by inflating the values of properties across the country. The Trumps and the company denied all allegations in that case as well, and said through an attorney in September that “absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place.”

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