Donald Trump’s company and its long-serving finance chief pleaded not guilty in a New York court on Thursday after they were charged with fraud and tax crimes.
According to the Manhattan prosecutors, the Trump Organization and its 73-year-old chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg defrauded New York in a 15-year tax evasion scheme.
The indictment accuses the Trump Organization and Weisselberg of deploying a scheme to compensate him and other executives with payment that was “off the books” from March 2005 until June 2021.
At the hearing at Manhattan’s criminal court, prosecutor Carey Dunne said this was a “sweeping and audacious” scheme involving “off-the-books payments”.
“It was orchestrated by the most senior executives who were financially benefiting themselves and the company, by getting secret pay raises at the expense of state and federal taxpayers,” he said.
Mr Weisselberg “is prepared to fight these charges in court,” his lawyers said.