“We have good reason to believe that there may be more charges ahead,” Bryan Skarlatos said at a preliminary hearing before the New York State Supreme Court.
Weisselberg faces 15 state counts, including major theft, which were exposed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance in July. Grand jury indictment alleged a 15-year tax evasion scheme in which Weisselberg received an array of luxury perks from the Trump Organization, including an apartment on the Upper West Side, a pair of cars Mercedes-Benz for him and his wife, and a private school. tuition fees for two family members – instead of compensation.
The former president’s namesake company was also indicted in the indictment, but Donald Trump himself was not charged.
The alleged scheme, prosecutors say, allowed Weisselberg to evade tax on $ 1.76 million in income in a period beginning in 2005. Weisselberg is also accused of concealing his New York residence to avoid to pay city income taxes.
Monday’s hearing was Weisselberg’s first appearance in the case since his arraignment this summer.
His lawyer did not identify who else Weisselberg’s team expected to be indicted in the Vance inquiry, but prosecutors have scrutinized other top Trump Orgs. employees, including Matthew Calamari, Sr., chief operating officer of the company and his son, Trump Org. director of corporate security Matthew Calamari, Jr.
Young Calamari testified before the grand jury earlier this month and was granted transactional immunity for the matters he testified about, under New York state law. The decision to bring him to the grand jury says prosecutors have no plans to indict him.
The father and son were vetted by prosecutors to see if they were properly paying taxes on the subsidized rents and cars they received as benefits from the company, CNN previously reported.
On Monday after the hearing, an attorney for the Calamaris said in a statement that “We remain in talks with the district attorney’s office regarding” Calamari, Sr. Attorney, Nick Gravante, said they “felt that ‘there was no basis for indicting’ Calamari, Sr.
“If they currently intended to charge him, I would have been informed. I was not and, in fact, I was told otherwise, ”said Gravante.
In Monday’s short hearing, Skarlatos, an attorney for Weisselberg, referred to a dispute between the Manhattan district attorney’s office and attorneys for the Trump Organization, saying he was “concerned” that his client “becomes collateral damage in a bigger fight” between the two.
Skarlatos, waving a swollen manila envelope, said the parties met in the judge’s chamber, ahead of the court hearing. “He was represented to us by the [district attorney’s office] that this package includes documents found in a co-conspirator’s basement that are tax documents, ”Skarlatos said.
Skarlatos did not identify the co-conspirator by name. CNN reported that one of the alleged accomplices in the investigation is Jeff McConney, the controller of the Trump Organization. McConney has testified at least twice before the grand jury, in which he was granted immunity for his testimony.
Solomon Shinerock, an attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, responded to Weisselberg’s attorney by saying, “Mr. Weisselberg is the boss. Nor is Mr. Weisselberg an innocent party taken as collateral damage.
The remainder of the hearing focused on the timing and an attempt by the defense to get a longer timeline for motions.
Skarlatos argued that defense attorneys had received a large amount of documents from the prosecution, asking the judge for an extended timetable for the motions.
Shinerock replied that “Allen Weisselberg is no stranger to these documents.”
The judge agreed to a 120-day motions schedule to start in January, but noted that “a lot of the documents came from the defendants themselves” and their claims that they had to go through millions of documents were “a little misleading” , as they are. “Familiar with most documents. “
The next court date has been set for July 12, 2022, with the trial date not scheduled until August or early September.
This story has been updated with additional details.