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Wall Street Journal: Manhattan private school subpoenaed in connection with Trump Organization probe

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: Trump Tower stands in Manhattan on August 4, 2017 in New York City. Following a dispute with the Trump Organization over a lease, the Secret Service, which protects all US presidents, has moved to a small trailer on a side street outside of Trump Tower. The federal agency had been renting office space in Donald Trump's Midtown Manhattan skyscraper since 2015 before a disagreement over the terms and costs for rent for a command post. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images via CNN)

(CNN) — The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors have subpoenaed a Manhattan private school for information related to Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg’s two grandchildren.

The WSJ reported that the subpoena was served to Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, which Weisselberg’s grandchildren attend, and that Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg said she told Manhattan prosecutors that hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of tuition checks were signed by either Allen Weisselberg or former President Donald Trump.

Frank Perrone Jr., an attorney for Columbia Grammar, would not confirm or deny the existence of the subpoena to CNN.

“We do comply with lawful requests from the authorities,” Perrone said. “But the school’s position is that we can’t comment and don’t comment on issues involving students, their families or alumni.”

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by Cy Vance, is investigating whether the Trump Organization violated any state laws, which could include tax fraud, insurance fraud or other schemes to defraud. A spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment to CNN.

The WSJ reports that Jennifer Weisselberg said she told Manhattan prosecutors that she and her ex-husband Barry, who is Allen Weisselberg’s son, understood the tuition payments to be part of her ex-husband’s compensation package, and that former prosecutors not involved in the probe said the Manhattan prosecutors could be examining whether the Weisselbergs evaded taxes with the tuition payments.

Barry Weisselberg has worked at the Trump Organization, where he managed the Central Park Carousel and two ice skating rinks until recently. He has not responded to CNN’s request for comment, and a member of his family declined to comment when contacted by CNN.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Allen Weisselberg and to the Trump Organization for comment. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Jennifer Weisselberg’s attorney Duncan Levin told CNN she would not comment further on matters related to her children at this time.

“We are aware of the subpoena from news reports,” Levin said. “Jen Weisselberg has plenty to say on this subject, but she will continue to provide that and other information to relevant authorities including the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.”

CNN previously reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had obtained boxes of documents from Jennifer Weisselberg after issuing a subpoena for financial records.

The subpoena asked for documents provided by Barry Weisselberg and those obtained during divorce proceedings, including but not limited to “bank account and credit card records, tax records, statements of net worth, and other financial records,” as well as financial records relating to the Trump organization, including but not limited to Wollman Rink at Central Park and the Central Park Carousel — two cash-only businesses that the Trump Organization was contracted, until recently, by New York City to run.

Jennifer Weisselberg has spoken with prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on multiple occasions. She previously told CNN that investigators came to her apartment and collected loads of documents, and that forensic accountants have examined records.

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