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* Mulligan represents Trump company executive Allen Weisselberg
* High-profile former clients include ex-FIFA executive Chuck Blazer
July 1 (Reuters) - The indictment of a top official at former U.S. President Donald Trump’s company marks a critical shift from probe to prosecution by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
New York lawyer Mary Mulligan could play a key role in what happens next.
Mulligan, a former federal prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, is representing Allen Weisselberg here, the Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer. After a nearly three-year investigation, Vance's office was expected to unseal tax charges against Weisselberg on Thursday. He was indicted here on Wednesday.
Weisselberg “intends to plead not guilty and he will fight these charges in court” Mulligan said Thursday in a joint statement with tax lawyer Bryan Skarlatos. She declined to comment on her multi-year representation of Weisselberg, or on Skarlatos’ role in the matter.
Mulligan is no stranger to high-profile assignments.
She previously defended an ex-Lehman Brothers broker here who stole corporate secrets from his executive wife and shared them with friends, and a South African pilot who was arrested alongside here Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in an undercover sting by U.S. agents posing as Colombian guerrillas looking to buy weapons.
She also represented Chuck Blazer here, the former FIFA executive committee member who pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering for accepting bribes in the bidding process for the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Mulligan was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1997 to 2002. In that role, she investigated and prosecuted fraud, corruption and financial crimes cases, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She joined law firm Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman in 2006, after a stint in-house at Universal Music Group. Her practice includes defending clients against allegations of money laundering, insider trading, corruption, campaign violations and various types of fraud.
In the Trump Organization case, charges by Vance, a Democrat, focus on whether Weisselberg and other company officials received perks and benefits such as rent-free apartments and leased cars without reporting them properly on their tax returns.
Weisselberg is a close Trump confidant, making his cooperation potentially crucial to any future case against Trump himself.
Trump, a Republican, released a statement Monday night calling the prosecutors “rude, nasty and totally biased” and his company’s actions “in no way a crime.”
Reporting by Caroline Spiezio; Editing by David Bario and Daniel Wallis