New York prosecutors may have located a fresh avenue for intensifying pressure on the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer in an effort to secure his cooperation in a probe into former President Donald Trump and his company: his grandchildren’s chic education.
The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors have subpoenaed a Manhattan private school for records related to the grandchildren of the Trump Organization’s CFO Allen Weisselberg.
According to WSJ, the subpoena seeks information from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School — an elite Upper West Side school where his grandchildren are students.
Trump’s son Barron previously attended the school, which boasts annual tuition of more than $50,000 per year. Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen also previously sat on its board, WSJ noted.
Jennifer Weisselberg — who is the ex-wife of Allen Weisselberg’s son and mother to the two children in question — told WSJ that she and her ex-husband Barry had never paid their children’s tuition.
More than $500,000 of the students’ tuition was paid for with checks signed by either Weisselberg or Trump. She understood the arrangement to be part of Barry’s compensation package for his work at the Trump Organization, she told the paper.
The development comes after prosecutors last month inched closer to the trusted CFO’s inner circle, subpoenaing information related to Jennifer Weisselberg’s divorce from Barry Weisselberg, including tax records, net-worth statements and financial records related to the Trump Organization.
Allen Weisselberg has worked for the Trump Organization for decades and his cooperation has reportedly become a key target for investigators in the Manhattan district attorney’s probe of Trump and his family business for possible loan, bank or insurance fraud.
While none of the Weisselbergs have been accused of wrongdoing, if the Manhattan district attorney’s office identify tax evasion with the tuition-payment arrangement, they could use those findings to squeeze cooperation from Allen Weisselberg and uncover more details about Trump’s business dealings.