Donald Trump’s family business indicted on criminal charges

Donald Trump’s family business and its head of finance have been indicted on criminal charges, according to reports.

The Trump Organization has been the subject of an investigation by New York authorities for more than two years over claims it falsely reported property values to secure lending and tax benefits.

But now its longstanding chief finance officer is believed to be handing himself in to answer to a string of charges, CNN reports.

Allen Weisselberg is pictured (centre) with Donald Trump (left) and his son (right). Pic: AP
Image:Allen Weisselberg is pictured (centre) with Donald Trump (left) and his son (right). Pic: AP

Allen Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trumps since 1973, is expected to appear in court on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It is not clear what the exact charges are, but Mr Trump’s team is believed to have met with lawyers last week in a last-ditch attempt to avoid an indictment.

New York state attorney Letitia James had been pursuing a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances until she announced last month it was now in a “criminal capacity”.

Trump Tower in New York City is one of Mr Trump's properties being investigated
Image:Trump Tower in New York City is one of Mr Trump’s properties being investigated

Ms James alleges that the Trump Organization inflated the value of some of its assets to get bigger loans, while undervaluing other properties to ensure tax breaks.

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The properties involved include Trump Tower, his north Manhattan estate, a hotel in Chicago and a Los Angeles golf course.

His hotel in Chicago is being probed in the criminal investigation, led by Ms James
Image:His hotel in Chicago is being probed in the criminal investigation, led by Ms James

Separately, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance – who like Ms James is a Democrat – is investigating Mr Trump’s business dealings from before he became president.

Mr Trump, who is still banned from most social media platforms, has repeatedly branded all probes into him as “witch hunts” that are “rude, nasty and biased”.

He did not respond to questions about the investigation shouted at him by reporters on a visit to the Mexican border in Texas on Wednesday.

Mr Trump's golf course in LA is under investigation.
Image:Mr Trump’s golf course in LA is under investigation

A spokesperson for the former president has not yet commented on the charges either.

But his long-time former senior adviser Jason Miller said on Wednesday that criminal charges against his old boss would be “politically terrible for the Democrats”.

“They told their crazies and their supplicants in the mainstream media this was about President Trump,” he said on Twitter.

“Instead, their Witch Hunt is persecuting an innocent 80 year-old man for maybe taking free parking!”, Mr Miller added – seemingly referring to Mr Weisselberg, who is 73.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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