The ex-wife of a Trump organization employee says she has been in contact with prosecutors from two different New York investigations into Donald Trump and his company.
A spokesperson for Jennifer Weisselberg said criminal investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office began questioning her in December, and investigators with a New York Attorney General’s office civil probe interviewed her in September.
Weisselberg’s ex-husband Barry has for years managed an ice skating rink in Central Park that is operated by the Trump Organization under a contract with New York City. Barry Weisselberg’s father, Allen, is the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
The Manhattan District Attorney has been in contact with Jennifer Weisselberg multiple times, according to her spokesperson, who said investigators have sought information about Allen Weisselberg and documents about a Trump-owned apartment she and her ex-husband lived in for years.
“They have had forensic accountants reviewing that and other paperwork,” said the spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office and Attorney General’s office declined to comment, as did an attorney for Allen Weisselberg. An attorney for the Trump Organization did not return a request for comment.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance first began investigating Mr. Trump in 2018, and initially targeted hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. However, Vance’s office has indicated in court filings that the investigation has since widened to look at possible crimes as wide-ranging as fraud and tax evasion.
In recent meetings with the D.A.’s office, Jennifer Weisselberg was interviewed by Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor with experience in complex financial and organized crime cases, who was hired by the office in February to work on the Trump investigation.
Among the topics Pomerantz had questions about was the Central Park South apartment that Jennfier Weisselberg said was presented as a gift to the couple by Mr. Trump after their marriage. She said they neither owned the apartment nor paid rent, though they paid about $400 per month for utilities. City records show Mr. Trump sold the apartment in 2014 for $2.85 million.
If the apartment was a gift, Mr. Trump or his company would have needed to pay taxes on it. If living in it was a perk of employment with the Trump organization, the Weisselbergs would have been responsible for paying taxes on the property, said John Lieberman, a managing partner at the New York accounting firm Perelson Weiner, LLP.
“Here’s a simple way to think about it. It’s like when a building super gets an apartment for free. There’s a fair market value for the use of that apartment, and it’s includable in their wages, and taxable,” Lieberman said.
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