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Trump Organization chief operating officer not expected to be charged in fraud probe, his attorney says

Matthew Calamari's lawyer said prosecutors told him they do not intend to charge his client in their wide-ranging probe of the former president's company.
Matthew Calamari stands in the lobby at Trump Tower on Jan. 12, 2017, in New York.
Matthew Calamari in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York on Jan. 12, 2017.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Trump Organization Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari, who was being investigated as part of a wide-ranging probe into former President Donald Trump's company, is not expected to be charged, his attorney said Wednesday.

Calamari attorney Nicholas Gravante Jr. confirmed that prosecutors for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office had told him that "at present, they do not intend to charge him."

A spokesperson for District Attorney Cy Vance declined to comment on Gravante's statement, which was first reported by The New York Times.

The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, were charged in July in what prosecutors described as a 15-year scheme to compensate top executives of Trump's company "off the books" and help them avoid paying taxes.

The Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to tax fraud, falsifying business records and other charges. Weisselberg, 74, pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud charges, among others, after prosecutors accused him of personally avoiding taxes on $1.7 million of his income.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people close to the matter, reported in June that Calamari, Trump's former bodyguard, was being investigated over whether he, too, received tax-free fringe benefits from the company. A person familiar with the matter confirmed in June that Calamari was under investigation.

NBC News reported in September that Calamari's son Matthew Calamari Jr., who also works for the company, had been called to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in the district attorney's inquiry into whether Trump and his company misled banks, insurance companies or the state of New York on his tax returns about the value of his properties or the internal financial workings of his company.

The investigation by Vance, which led to two Supreme Court fights and resulted in Trump's accountants' having to turn over his tax returns, has been underway since at least the summer of 2019.

Vance has indicated that he intends to conclude the investigation by the end of his term, which expires Dec. 31. He will be succeeded by fellow Democrat Alvin Bragg, who investigated the now-shuttered Trump Foundation when he was with the state attorney general's office.

Asked by MSNBC's Ari Melber in June how he would approach the investigation, Bragg said, "I go where the facts go."