Former Trump bodyguard under investigation in tax evasion probe: report
Trump Organization COO Matthew Calamri (screengrab)

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Matthew Calamari, a former bodyguard to Donald Trump and chief operating officer of the Trump Organization, is under investigation by Manhattan prosecutors as part of their probe into whether the benefits offered by the business amount to illegal tax evasion.

"Prosecutors' interest in Mr. Calamari, once Mr. Trump's bodyguard, indicates that their probe into the Trump Organization's alleged practice of providing some employees with cars and apartments extends beyond Allen Weisselberg, the company's chief financial officer, and his family," reported Rebecca Ballhaus and Corinne Ramey. "Receiving benefits — such as free apartments, subsidized rent or car leases — from an employer, and not paying taxes on such benefits, can be a crime, although experts said prosecutors rarely bring cases on such perks alone."

The report noted that neither Calamari nor Weisselberg have currently been accused of a crime. However, sources say that Trump is keeping a close eye on Weisselberg for any signs that he could flip on the family for a deal.

Calamari is a colorful figure; according to an anecdote from a 1993 book, he told Trump that he would be willing to kill for his boss.

"Prosecutors in recent weeks advised Mr. Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., that they should hire their own lawyer, people familiar with the matter said," said the report. "The elder Mr. Calamari, who works as the Trump Organization's chief operating officer, and his son, the company's corporate director of security, had previously been represented by a lawyer who was also representing other Trump Organization employees, one of the people said. Such a recommendation is often a sign that prosecutors' interest in a subject is intensifying, but doesn't mean the Calamaris will be charged with wrongdoing."

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