Trump Org indictment reads like a ‘textbook tax scheme’: Legal analyst

ABC News’ Kyra Phillips speaks with attorney Adam Kaufmann, former official at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, about the Trump Organization indictment.
6:25 | 07/02/21

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Transcript for Trump Org indictment reads like a ‘textbook tax scheme’: Legal analyst
Or legal analysis of today's charges we bring in Adam Kaufman former chief of the investigation division. The Manhattan's DA's office at the office now prosecuting this case Adam we've been talking all day. Let's go back a bit it's not a crime for a company to compensate their executives with big perks like apartments and luxury cars but you have to pay taxes on it so. How serious do you think these charges are. I mean that that's exactly right carried view this is a common business practice but the common business practice is to step up and declare what's being Aden and pay the taxes on it and that's our businesses shirt for it. This this is a pretty big deal island saint a lot of money. When I was running the investigation division I routinely signed off on indictments. For payroll tax or tax invasion that was. Much smaller then 01 point seven million dollar total so Bob. You know I think these are very serious charges on the indictment speaks to you need it be indictment says it speaks to a systematic ongoing course and I adopt. If you notice in the indictment talks about keeping careful track. Of the Bellevue. What was being given to mr. white sober off the books Sheri could deduct salary but it. They didn't declare the income so they're sort of reporting the IRS. Once numbers any internally they're keeping track and others numbers. It's sort of a textbook. Tax scheme this is indeed I'm a big. So prosecutors also claim that tuition payments for private school were paid by personal checks signed by Donald Trump. What's the legal significance of that. Interest CNET best sort of points to you on something a lot more. Direct involving the former president. Then a lot of the other cars you need I mention which speak only of the corporation. Yeah you can also take note here's our final album the indictment did talk about falsifying business records which is Carmen charge brought by prosecutors. Most of falsifying business records speak to double each user and ninety nine's the kind of documents you might expect CNN tax base. The last count indictment charges also depletion of the personal catcher Donald Trump. And so you didn't and you think well that's Gilbert speaks much more you mr. trump himself Bradley agency to Trump Organization. So I think that's a significant good I mean it's sort of an at the end of the indictment. So having worked in this prosecutor's office what can you tell us about the DA's possible. Next steps and do you think they'll try to flip Alan Weiss Goldberg against the former president and did so. Does that mean the former president is in trouble. So yeah I mean the answer of course is yes there hey Dave Dave brought this indictment. It's been reported they were they were trying to get mr. Royce older to cooperate he has refused. Now he's indicted. He's looking ahead and as much as 155 to fifteen years in jail. You know he'll be looking yet. Probably not that much time but a significant he'll be looking at jail time for this conduct and of course they're going to be trying to you to get him to flip. Bill be trying to get other trump executives into the grand jury. And to see what they had to say about this code of conduct and who is involved. And finally the Trump Organization. Is criminally indicted is well what does that even mean cents a company is not a person and can't go to jail. Yes they song it's pretty and well its it's not uncommon she sang in white collar cases to charge. Corporate and we. When hi managerial agent a company engages in criminal on. The company can be charged so here we have this year all of the organization. Who engaged in this systematic ongoing scheme. Two armed defraud the taxes and to receive these all refunds and or street. All of the old record keep them so and a tanker case the corporation does have exposure. I'm does have criminal culpability. And so did the corporation can face substantial fines. And if convicted he could face loss of license is different types of collateral consequences but those would be beyond the scope of the criminal justice. The indictment didn't say. In that they it wasn't just talking about Alan Beisel bird but other executives with in the Trump Organization. So what is your got EU EUU investigated these types of cases. Are we talking about the former president and his kids. No of course I have absolutely no idea does and I don't know the evidence. You know this the common to common. Knowledge or do you think common refrains. Mr. control everything within the organization. So that's that's an answer your question. And that Michael Cohen told me tonight reaction agreed Michael Cohen as you notice former attorney and confidant and advisor and he flipped on him as well. And that's exactly what he said that Donald Trump knows every thing that goes on. In the Trump Organization. Everything I connected to money. Well and ended and that's so testimony to grand jury Nate here but. To indict someone you have to prove that age specifically had knowledge or purchase it began or ordered. Or condoned. On this specific the specific criminal. Are being charged so a general statement that mr. did everything. Op isn't going to get to an indictment the question is whether there is in evidence and there are witnesses who quit canyon the room. Giving an order for somehow doing something that brings specific criminal liability. Adam always appreciate your insights and thanks her helping me get through the data daily had a lot of breaking news when this came down. Thank scare the degree criminal are on thanks you bet.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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