Judge Rules Case Against Trump Org, Former CFO Can Proceed Former President Donald Trump (AP)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 12 August 2022 11:33 AM EDT
A New York state judge on Friday ruled that a criminal fraud and tax evasion case against the Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer can proceed, CBS News reported.
Longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg and the company asked a judge in February to dismiss all 15 counts charged against them. Last summer, New York prosecutors brought charges that included tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, and filing false business records.
Judge Juan Merchan dismissed one of several tax fraud counts against the Trump Organization, but allowed all others to remain, CBS News reported Friday. Jury selection will take place Oct. 24.
The criminal probe is being overseen by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The Trump Organization and Weisselberg argued the case was politically motivated and was only brought because the defendants were linked to the former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported in February.
Lawyers at the time cited statements made by Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has been critical of Trump. Two attorneys from James' office are assigned to the Manhattan district attorney's investigation.
Weisselberg also argued he had received immunity against certain federal charges when he testified to a federal grand jury investigating former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
However, prosecutors said in May said the Weisselberg probe was spurred by a November, 2020 Bloomberg article about perks the ex-CFO allegedly received.
"The article outlined many of the key facts relevant to the crimes charged," Manhattan prosecutor Solomon Shinerock wrote in a May court filing.
Weisselberg was removed as CFO in July 2021 after he and the company were indicted on fraud and theft charges. The defendants pleaded not guilty in the first criminal case to emerge from a yearslong investigation Trump and his business dealings.
Trump said on Wednesday he refused to answer questions during an appearance before James in a civil investigation into his family's business practices, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Trump's lawyers have said they were concerned that Trump's deposition could be turned over to Bragg.