Prosecutors and lawyers for Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg clash over timeline to review 6 million pages of documents

Prosecutors and lawyers for Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg clash over timeline to review 6 million pages of documents
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allen weisselberg lawyer court appearance
The Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, arrives for a courtroom appearance in New York, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
  • Prosecutors and lawyers for Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg clashed in a court hearing Monday.

  • The teams of lawyers disagreed about the amount of time needed to review 6 million pages of documents prosecutors have supplied in the case.

  • Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to 15 state felony counts in an alleged tax fraud scheme.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg clashed in a court hearing Monday, disagreeing about the amount of time Weisselberg's attorneys need to review 6 million pages of documents prosecutors have supplied in the case.

Judge Juan Merchan called the hearing to set a motion schedule ahead of finalizing a trial date. Prosecutors with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. have accused Weisselberg and the Trump Organization of wide-ranging tax crimes.

In Manhattan's New York Supreme Court, Merchan gave Weisselberg's lawyers until January 20, 2022, to submit pre-trial motions in the case. Bryan Skarlatos, one of Weisselberg's attorneys, had asked Merchan for a longer timeline, saying that his team would have to review tens of thousands of documents a day to meet the January deadline.

He also expressed concern that Weisselberg would become "collateral damage" to the DA's larger probe into former president Donald Trump's company.

"Allen Weisselberg is separate from the Trump Organization," Skarlatos said. "He is the only person here whose liberty is at stake. And what I'm concerned about is he becomes collateral damage in a bigger investigation into the Trump Organization."

Prosecutor Solomon Shinerock shot back, saying prosecutors already gave Weisselberg's lawyers the "core" 3 million pages of documents on July 1, and that Weisselberg was "no stranger to these documents."

"With respect to the relevant financial documents, Mr. Weisselberg is the boss," Shinerock said, adding: "He is not collateral damage here. He is an executive. He has been indicted by the grand jury."

In July, a Manhattan special grand jury indicted the Trump Organization and Weisselberg on 15 counts. The DA's office accused the company and its CFO of a 15-year tax fraud scheme, where prosecutors allege Weisselberg avoided paying taxes on $1.7 million of income, including perks like apartments and school tuition for family members. Weisselberg and attorneys for the company pleaded not guilty to the charges.

For weeks ahead of Monday's hearing, attorneys have held sealed court hearings to discuss the scope of evidence that would be permitted if the case were to go to trial.

Merchan said prosecutors had until May 20, 2022 to reply to Weisselberg's and the Trump Organization's January 20 motions. He also set a July 12 deadline to give a decision on the motions, at which point he said he'll set a trial date for August or September.

The Manhattan DA's office has been seeking Weisselberg's cooperation for its investigation into the Trump Organization, which began in 2018 and remains ongoing. So far that effort has been unsuccessful.

The DA's office has limited leverage in trying to flip Weisselberg. If convicted at trial, he could get a sentence that would be as little as one year in prison, according to Bloomberg News, given his age, lack of criminal record, and the amount of money at issue in the case.

Prosecutors are expected to bring additional charges in the grand jury probe, and are said to be studying the finances of Weisselberg's two sons, Barry and Jack. They are also examining the finances of Trump Organization COO Matthew Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., who is the company's head of security. They also have not ruled out charges against the former president himself.

Skarlatos alluded to more potential indictments in court while asking for an extension, pointing out that uncharged co-conspirators are involved in the case.

"We have strong reason to believe other indictments are coming," Skarlatos said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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