On Thursday, The New York Times reported that New York prosecutors, as part of their investigation into the Trump Organization, are scrutinizing gifts and other "fringe benefits" the company paid its employees, which could theoretically have been a way for Trump, his family, and his higher-ranking officials to illegally avoid paying taxes on their compensation.
"As part of that line of inquiry, the prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney's office recently subpoenaed the records of an Upper West Side private school, seeking information about tuition payments Mr. Trump made on behalf of one of his top executives, according to two of the people familiar with the matter," reported Jonah Bromwich, Ben Protess, and William Rashbaum. "The subpoena sought information from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School related to tens of thousands of dollars in tuition payments that Mr. Trump made over several years for at least one grandchild of the Trump organization's longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg."
The tuition payments were first reported in the Wall Street Journal this week. Weisselberg has been a key interest of investigators for years, as he has been with the Trump family for decades, although he has claimed he does not handle the "legal side" of the organization's monetary affairs.
"Prosecutors' interest in any fringe benefits Mr. Trump may have provided to his employees is not limited to Mr. Weisselberg," said the report. "The investigators, working for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., have also asked the Trump Organization to turn over documents related to any benefits Mr. Trump or the company provided to some other employees, according to two of the people with knowledge, though it is unclear whether the company awarded any such benefits. Mr. Vance's investigation is also focused on whether Mr. Trump and the company manipulated property values to obtain certain loans and tax benefits, among other potential financial crimes."