The Southern District of New York continues its investigation into the Trump Organization for alleged tax and bank fraud with all new avenues, according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition to Chief Executive Officer Allen Weisselberg, who is currently under investigation and under pressure to give up the goods on the ex-president and his shady business practices, Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari is now being put in the same position.
Breaking WSJ: New York prosecutors are investigating whether a top Trump Org. executive, Matthew Calamari, received tax-free fringe benefits, as part of their probe into whether Trump's company and employees illegally avoided paying taxes on such perks.https://t.co/LnaNoJtHld
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 21, 2021
Like Weisselberg, Calamari’s role in the organization is a family affair. Not only does the senior Calamari work for Trump and enjoy a lot of “fringe” benefits of the job, including a rent-free posh Manhattan residence, his son, Matthew Calamari, Jr., also works for the organization and enjoys the same benefits, benefits which have become part of the criminal probe. According to The Wall Street Journal:
‘Prosecutors in recent weeks advised Mr. Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., that they should hire their own lawyer, people familiar with the matter said. The elder Mr. Calamari, who works as the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer, and his son, the company’s corporate director of security, had previously been represented by a lawyer who was also representing other Trump Organization employees, one of the people said.’
A second senior executive at the Trump Organization, one who presumably has information a jury might be interested in, is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney https://t.co/LMBrQprAWO
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) June 21, 2021
At issue is whether those “perks” are being taxed. The former daughter-in-law of Trump CEO Weisselberg, Jennifer Weisselberg, has said publicly and has told investigators that these perks were a way of keeping executives loyal and avoiding taxes. The larger investigation is based on testimony by former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, who told the courts that Trump often overvalued assets on loan documents but undervalued them on tax documents to avoid paying taxes.
‘In the broader investigation, Manhattan prosecutors are examining whether the Trump Organization overvalued some assets and undervalued others in order to get tax, loan and financial benefits, The Wall Street Journal has reported. Prosecutors have convened a special grand jury, an indication they are likely seeking to bring charges, the Journal has reported.’
Media: @eliehonig to @ErinBurnett: "If they can prove this isn't just something that was done for #AllenWeisselberg, perhaps it was also done for #MatthewCalamari, then you can say to a jury that this wasn't some mistake, this was a pattern, a way of doing business at @Trump." pic.twitter.com/aFgyNIJkqh
— Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) June 21, 2021
Such perks are not in any way illegal, but if they are not reported as income or their value isn’t reported for taxes, they become an illegal source of renumeration for executives. The Southern District of New York began the probe during Trump’s time in office and the investigation is ongoing, with a grand jury already pending.
‘The elder Mr. Calamari has for years lived in an apartment at Trump Park Avenue, a luxury building on Manhattan’s East Side…[and] has driven a Mercedes leased through the Trump Organization, according to those people. The younger Mr. Calamari lives in Trump Parc East, which is across the street from Central Park.’
Manhattan prosecutors are looking into potential criminal wrongdoing by the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer and his son, probing whether the two illegally received tax-free perks from Trump’s real-estate development company, according to WSJ https://t.co/BydvmT7LU0
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 21, 2021