Kurson didn’t enter a plea at his arraignment Wednesday. He was launched on his personal recognizance.
The allegations mirror federal costs filed final October towards Kurson — a case that went away when Trump pardoned him in January within the last hours of his White Home time period.
Presidential pardons apply solely to federal crimes, not state offenses.
“We is not going to settle for presidential pardons as get-out-of-jail-free playing cards for the well-connected in New York,” Vance stated in a press release.
A message in search of remark was left with Kurson’s lawyer.
Talking concerning the federal costs final yr, Kurson lawyer Marc Mukasey stated: “The conduct alleged is hardly worthy of a federal legal prosecution. Ken will get previous it.”
Kurson is the primary particular person in Trump’s orbit to be charged by native prosecutors after being pardoned by the previous president, although it’s not the primary time Manhattan prosecutors have tangled with a Trump ally.
District Lawyer Cyrus Vance Jr. charged former Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort with state crimes in 2019 as a hedge towards a doable pardon after he was convicted in federal court docket over comparable mortgage fraud allegations.
Manafort challenged Vance’s case on double jeopardy grounds and gained, with a last resolution coming in February, lower than two months after Trump pardoned him within the federal case.
Final month, Vance introduced tax fraud costs towards Trump’s firm, the Trump Group and its longtime chief monetary officer, Allen Weisselberg. A court docket listening to in that matter is scheduled for Sept. 20. Neither Weisselberg nor the corporate had been charged with these crimes beforehand.
New York eased double jeopardy protections in 2019 to make sure state prosecutors may pursue costs towards anybody granted a presidential pardon for comparable federal crimes.
In Kurson’s case, double jeopardy wouldn’t essentially be a problem as a result of his federal case ended earlier than a conviction or acquittal.
The federal case towards Kurson, who now works within the cryptocurrency trade, arose from a background examine after the Trump administration provided Kurson a seat in 2018 on the board of the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities.
Manhattan prosecutors began investigating Kurson for doable violations of state legislation as soon as Trump pardoned him.
In explaining the pardon, the Trump White Home cited a letter from Kurson’s ex-wife during which she stated she by no means needed him investigated or arrested and, “repeatedly requested for the FBI to drop it.”
It wasn’t clear from the legal criticism filed Wednesday whether or not she’s cooperating with the state case. Within the doc, prosecutors cited interviews she and Kurson gave to police in New Jersey in 2015, in addition to laptop data and an interview with an individual who labored with Kurson’s ex-wife.
In line with Manhattan prosecutors, Kurson monitored his now ex-wife’s laptop keystrokes in 2015 and 2016 utilizing spy ware, acquiring passwords and accessing her Gmail and Fb accounts. In October 2015, prosecutors stated, he accessed after which anonymously disseminated his now ex-wife’s Fb messages.
In line with Wednesday’s legal criticism, Kurson’s now ex-wife advised South Orange police he was “terrorizing her via electronic mail and social media, inflicting her issues at work and in her social life.”