Manhattan prosecutors are investigating whether Trump's former bodyguard got tax-free perks as part of a Trump Organization plan to avoid paying taxes, report says

·2 min read
Matthew Calamari at Trump Tower.
Matthew Calamari, the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Manhattan prosecutors are investigating whether the Trump Organization gave employees tax-free perks.

  • They're now examining Matthew Calamari, its COO, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

  • They want to know if it broke the law by misrepresenting financial information for tax benefits.

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Manhattan prosecutors are examining whether Donald Trump's former bodyguard received tax-free perks from the Trump Organization, The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus and Corinne Ramey reported on Monday.

The examination of Matthew Calamari, who started working as Trump's bodyguard in 1981, is part of a larger investigation into whether the Trump Organization illegally avoided paying taxes by giving houses and cars to employees.

Prosecutors are looking into whether Calamari, now the organization's chief operating officer, received such tax-free perks, The Journal reported.

The newspaper did not specify any perks Calamari may have received, and it said he had not been accused of any wrongdoing. However, it noted that it can be a crime to receive perks from an employer and not pay taxes on them.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Prosecutors told Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., the Trump Organization's corporate director of security, that they should hire legal representation, The Journal reported.

The Journal reported that both Calamaris live in apartment buildings run by the Trump Organization. Calamari lives at Trump Park Avenue and drove a Mercedes leased via the Trump Organization, and Calamari Jr. lives at Trump Parc East, The Journal said.

Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump. Oliver Contreras/Getty Images

Manhattan prosecutors have also zoomed in on another senior Trump Organization figure, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

Read more: The Manhattan DA's office picked up the pace of its investigation into Trump's finances once it hired a prosecutor who used to pursue mob bosses, a cooperating witness says

They're investigating rent payments on Weisselberg's Manhattan apartment and payments made by Weisselberg for his grandchildren's tuition, CNN reported in May. Weisselberg has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Jennifer Weisselberg, who was previously married to Allen Weisselberg's son Barry, is a cooperating witness in investigations into Trump's finances.

"They want you to do crimes and not talk about it and don't leave," she told Insider's Jacob Shamsian earlier this year. "It's so controlling."

The inquiry is part of a larger criminal investigation, in conjunction with New York Attorney General Letitia James, into whether the Trump Organization committed tax fraud.

Trump has called the investigations politically motivated.

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