Trump probe documents stem from messy divorce case

  • Jennifer Weisselberg says she gave prosecutors investigating Trump “seven boxes” of documents.
  • The Trump Organization documents come from a divorce case with the son of the company’s chief financial officer.
  • The Manhattan district attorney’s office got a more complete picture of the Trump Organization’s finances after a subpoena in February.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Prosecutors learned details about the Trump Organization’s finances after a key employee tried to withhold them in their divorce case, that employee’s ex-wife told Insider.

The movement backfired. The judge in the divorce case forced him to appear for a deposition and serve the documents as part of a subpoena, according to Jennifer Weisselberg.

Jennifer Weisselberg, now a collaborating witness in the investigations into Trump’s finances, said she finally obtained “seven boxes” of financial documents and handed them over to investigators last fall.

“They collected documents many times. They ended up taking seven boxes of my documents and scanning them, going through them,” he told Insider, adding: “They took depositions, they took checks, routing numbers, bank accounts. [information], and things like that.”

Prosecutors from the New York attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are conducting parallel investigations into the finances of Trump and his company, to see if they misrepresented financial information in tax and loan documents. The Manhattan district attorney’s office successfully cited the Trump Organization for millions of pages of documents in February, obtaining a more complete picture of the company’s financial affairs.

But an earlier look at those finances came in September, when Jennifer Weisselberg turned over her documents. Weisselberg was married to Barry Weisselberg, son of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, between 2004 and 2018. Barry Weisselberg is also a key Trump Organization employee in his own right, managing the Wollman Rink in Central Park in Manhattan. .

Read more: The Manhattan district attorney’s office accelerated the pace of its investigation into Trump’s finances after he left office, says a contributing witness.

Barry Weisselberg initially withheld financial information from Jennifer during the divorce proceedings, he said. The divorce judge recognized that benefits he received from the Trump Organization, such as his shared apartment, could have monetary value and should be considered during divorce negotiations, he said.

“The judge said there was a lot of money charged,” Jennifer Weisselberg said. “They cited a lot of things after Barry’s deposition.”

An attorney representing Barry Weisselberg did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

‘I don’t think they realized I had those things’

Donald and Melania Trump gave Barry and Jennifer Weisselberg an apartment in the Trump Parc East Building in Manhattan as a wedding gift. It was part of many benefits that the Trump Organizations offered to members of the Weisselberg family, as reported by Bloomberg’s Cabe Melby in November.

Following the publication of that article, investigators with the New York Attorney General’s office expressed renewed interest in the documents Jennifer Weisselberg gave them, he said.

“Since the Bloomberg article came out, I don’t think they’ve realized I had those things,” Weisselberg told Insider. “The attorney general arrived and they began to collect more boxes.”

donald trump tower standing pose

Donald Trump poses for photographs in his Trump Tower office on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in New York.

Diane Bondareff / Invision / AP

Weisselberg said benefits offered by the Trump Organization, such as the apartment and tuition payments for his children, were used in place of normal salary increases. Functionally they allowed the company to exercise some control over their lives, he said.

“He’s so controlling,” he continued. “Because if you want to go and earn the same money, you live there. If you want to go, where are you going to live?”

Jennifer Weisselberg said that she is now glad she left Trumpworld.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” he said. “I don’t want your money. I’m fine.”

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office are now interested in “turning around” Allen Weisselberg to guide them through the millions of documents they have obtained, according to The Washington Post. They are investigating whether benefits like the apartment violated tax laws, according to Bloomberg.

The bureau recently hired Mark Pomerantz, who has experience as a prosecutor hunting down mob bosses. He also sent a forensic accountant with experience analyzing mob finances to review Jennifer Weisselberg’s documents, he said.

Representatives for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Representatives for Allen Weisselberg, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the New York attorney general’s office declined to comment.

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