Donald Trump

Trump Likely to Face Same Judge Who Presided Over Trump Organization Tax Fraud Trial

Judge Juan Merchan presided over the trial of the Trump Organization's former CFO Allen Weisselberg

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Now that Donald Trump has been indicted — becoming the first president, current or former, to be brought up on criminal charges — he is tentatively planned to appear before a judge during an arraignment on April 4.

And who is the judge that Trump and attorneys for both sides can expect to likely hear the case? That would be Juan Merchan, who has been an acting justice with the State Supreme Court since 2009.

Merchan, who started his career as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, now has 16 years experience on the bench. The New York Times reports Merchan was born in Bogotá, Colombia, came to the U.S. when he was 6 years old and grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Merchan worked in the State Attorney General's office before he was appointed to the Bronx Family Court bench in 2006.

It would not be the first high-profile trial that Merchan has overseen. Back in 2012, he presided over the case of the woman known as the "soccer mom madam" — who made international headlines for allegedly running an Upper East Side call girl ring for millionaires.

More recently, Merchan also presided over the case of the Trump Organization's former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, as well as the tax fraud trial in which the family's company was found guilty on 17 counts including charges of conspiracy and falsifying business records.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felony counts related to tax fraud at the Trump Organization. Chris Glorioso reports.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts and testified against his employer, admitting he was involved in a scheme to defraud federal, state and city tax authorities. He was sentenced to five months in jail.

In January, the 75-year-old former CFO was handcuffed and led out of a Manhattan courtroom after a brief sentencing hearing before Merchan. He was transported to Rikers Island jail, where he is serving his sentence.

Trump Corporation is charged with nine counts, and Trump Payroll Corporation is charged with eight.
Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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