Donald Trump Might Have Used Illegal Scheme To Secure Loyalty From Workers

Donald Trump speaks to reporters.
Gettyimages | Drew Angerer
US Politics

The New York City probe into Donald Trump could reveal an illegal scheme used to gain loyalty from workers at the Trump Organization, Raw Story reported.

The publication underlined comments made by Jennifer Weisselberg — the ex-wife of one of Trump chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg's sons — during a recent interview with NBC News. Notably, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.'s investigation is reportedly trying to pressure Allen Weisselberg to reveal criminality at the Trump Organization.

During the interview, Jennifer Weisselberg said she has spoken with investigators "multiple times" and touched on the purported scheme. 

Trump Might Have Used Properties To Gain Loyalty

The investigation is allegedly looking into the rent-free living arrangements Trump offered the former couple in a Central Park apartment. Although Jennifer Weisselberg claimed the apartment was a wedding gift, Raw Story noted that it was a Trump Organization-owned apartment, which could have dire legal implications for the real estate mogul.

According to Jennifer Weisselberg, Trump used apartments to secure loyalty from underlings.

"They control people by compensating you with homes and things. It's not easy to walk away when they provide your home."

Jennifer Weisselberg Claimed To Be Unaware Of The Nature Of The Arrangement

Jennifer Weisselberg claimed in the NBC News interview that she was unaware of the nature of the arrangement she was involved in when the Trump Organization gifted the apartment. Now that the dust has settled, she believes that it was part of the purported illegal scheme underlined by Raw Story.

According to NBC News, Jennifer Weisselberg s paid approximately $400 a month for the apartment for utilities. The property was eventually sold in 2014 for $2.85 million, and Trump's name was the signature on the deed.

Trump Could Face Tax Issues From The Arrangement

Donald Trump speaks from a presidential podium.
Gettyimages | Pool

Per CBS News, John Lieberman, a managing partner at the New York accounting firm Perelson Weiner, LLP, highlighted the possible tax issues Trump could face from the purported arrangement. 

In particular, he said there are two possible situations: the apartment was a gift, meaning Trump would have been responsible for paying its taxes; or it was a Trump Organization employment perk, which means the Weisselbergs would have needed to pay taxes for the property.

"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."

Trump Could Face Serious Charges From The Probe

Vance Jr.'s probe could lead to serious criminal charges against Trump. As reported by Breitbart, Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, recently said he expects indictments from the inquiry in the near future.

“You’re going to see very soon, in my opinion, indictments start flying," he said during a Friday interview on MSNBC.

According to Cohen, who has been interviewed by the investigative team eight times, the group is "methodical," "disciplined," and "well-organized.

"It was like a paper vault of information. And, you know, there’s a lot of documentation."