An elite private school in Manhattan has been subpoenaed by New York prosecutors in connection to a probe into former president Donald Trump and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
The WSJ reports that Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School — a private school of roughly 1,300 prekindergarten through high school students on Manhattan’s Upper West Side — was served the subpoena by prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where Weisselberg’s two grandchildren attend.
Prosecutors are reportedly trying to flip Allen — who oversees the Trump family’s finances — into cooperating with the investigation into irregularities in Donald and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
Allen’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, reportedly told Manhattan prosecutors that hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of tuition checks — tuition this academic year at the private school ran more than $50,000 — were signed by either Allen or Donald, but the records in her possession don’t show who made the payments.
From 2012-2019, more than $500,000 of the children’s tuition was paid for by a currently unknown source.
Jennifer is a cooperating witness in investigations from both the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the New York Attorney General’s office into the thought that Allen or Jennifer’s ex-husband, Barry, tried to avoid paying taxes by having Donald and/or the Trump Organization pay the tuition.
The D.A.’s office is reportedly investigating whether the Trump Organization violated any state laws, including tax fraud, insurance fraud or other schemes to defraud.
Jennifer told the outlet that she and her ex-husband — who previously worked at the Trump Organization, where he managed the Central Park Carousel and two ice skating rinks until recently — believed their children’s tuition payments to be a part of his compensation package while working for the company.
The subpoenas for the schools will allow prosecutors to obtain copies of the transaction for the tuition payments, which they are hoping will show them if they were made by Donald, Allen, Barry, the Trump Organization, or any other source.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has already gone to the Supreme Court to request financial documents from the Trump Organization, including any tax filings; they have also reportedly requested Allen’s bank records.