Prosecutors in New York have accused the Trump Organization of a scheme to defraud through a 15-year, off-the-books payment scheme allowing executives to avoid paying taxes on company perks.

Chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg faces 15 charges including tax fraud and grand larceny.

He and the company have both pleaded not guilty.

The indictment, following two years of investigation, alleges Trump Organization executives received perks which they did not pay taxes on. Those benefits included private school tuition, apartments and luxury cars.

Weisselberg is accused of evading payment of more than $900,000 (€760,000) in taxes because of the scheme and receiving more than $133,000 in tax refunds he was not entitled to.

The Trump Organization runs the business interests of former US President Donald Trump, such as investments in office towers, hotels and golf courses, marketing deals and his television pursuits.

Neither he nor members of his family were indicted. Investigators have said their work is ongoing.

The charges against the company and Weisselberg were brought by Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance, in concert with attorneys in the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Both officials are Democrats.

Republican ex-President Trump claims their investigation is politically motivated, and has said his company’s actions are “standard practice throughout the US business community, and in no way a crime.”

Trump Organization lawyer Alan Futerfas said: “If the name of the company was something else, I don’t think these charges would have been brought.” He argued similar matters are typically handled in a civil court.

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