Trump: Connecting the dots

It is said that every electronic transaction leaves a digital footprint, which is why anyone trying to cover their tracks shies away from the internet and traceable mobile calls.

However, in some cases, a literal paper trail can also reveal interesting evidence, as one Trump Organisation employee has found out during his divorce proceedings, as the papers associated with his work have now been passed to prosecutors investigating Donald Trump.

Barry Weisselberg had been trying to withhold financial information from his wife, Jennifer, during their divorce.

However, Mrs Weisselberg’s investigators claimed that Mr Weisselberg had received perks from the Trump Organisation, such as a shared apartment overlooking Central Park, which could have monetary value and is, therefore, being considered during the divorce proceedings.

As a result, the judge ordered that the financial information be turned over for Mrs Weisselberg and her attorneys to review.

When investigators into the Trump Organisation learned of this, they asked Mrs Weisselberg to give them access to seven boxes of paper documentation containing bank statements, old cheque books, tax records and other account information, as well as interviewing Mrs Weisselberg.

One thing in which the investigators were particularly interested was the shared apartment, where the couple lived rent-free for seven years and which, according to Mrs Weisselberg was used as a means of keeping staff loyal. She described it as “controlling” and said she was very glad to have left “Trumpworld”.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Forensic accountants don’t just examine financial records and follow paper trails; they also interview key persons who can offer useful insights into their investigation.

“A question that is often asked of accountancy expert witnesses is whether a particular course of conduct is consistent with normal commercial terms.  The answer is often more a matter of common sense than accountancy.

“In this case one is left asking how common it is to allow an employee to live rent-free for many years, rather than perhaps as part of a temporary relocation package?

“There continues to be considerable interest in the affairs of former US President Trump and so the evidence provided by these investigators could play a vital role in future legal hearings.”

Posted in The Forensic Blog.