Who is Matthew Calamari? Trump's bodyguard-turned-COO probed for tax fraud

The prosecutors are also probing if the family of Allen Weisselberg, Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, received tax-free fringe benefits


                            Who is Matthew Calamari? Trump's bodyguard-turned-COO probed for tax fraud
Matthew Calamari is under scrutiny in New York probe (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York prosecutors are now investigating Donald Trump’s former bodyguard and chief operating officer, Matthew Calamari. The investigation began to find out if Calamari received tax-free fringe benefits while working for Donald Trump’s company.

The New York prosecutors are investigating Calamari, Trump’s bodyguard turned chief operating officer, and the question of whether or not he also received the “tax-free fringe benefits,” as part of their probe into the company possibly giving out such perks to employees as a way to avoid paying taxes. Calamari has allegedly lived for years in an apartment at the Trump Park Avenue building on the East Side and he has a Mercedes leased through the Trump Organization. His son, Matthew Calamari Jr, also lives in a company-owned building.

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The investigation is widening as the prosecutors are already looking into whether the family of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, received such benefits, according to CNN. Neither Calamari nor Weisselberg has been accused of any wrongdoing. But receiving tax-free perks can possibly be a crime, experts say, and prosecutors could use the threat of any possible charges to pressure either man into testifying against Trump.

Soon the news made its way to social media, as one person said, "I have been waiting for Matthew Calamari’s name to come up again! Remember…Michael Cohen mentioned him in the congressional hearings!" While one person said, "Matthew Calamari began working for Trump as a security guard. He's now the COO?? Tells you everything you need to know about Trump Org. #ac360"



 



 

 

One Twitter user questioned, "Calamari is central to the entire Trump corruption story. He was "director of surveillance" at the Trump Org properties. Government officials, business leaders, foreign dignitaries, etc. all frequented Trump properties for decades. Think he's got dirt?" While another one tweeted, "It would have been irresistible for Trump NOT to spy on guests at his facilities. I want to know how and what Calamari setup and managed for Trump."



 



 

 

Calamari has worked for Trump for 40 years. His name first pricked up reporters' ears when Michael Cohen mentioned him in testimony to Congress in 2019. The former Trump Organization executive said Calamari allegedly knew about Trump's alleged practice of providing an inflated accounting of his assets to insurance companies are part of a scheme to evade taxes. Trump runs extensive surveillance far beyond the safety operations at his golf clubs and hotels. At his Mar-a-Lago estate, he reportedly had a switchboard that allowed him to eavesdrop on calls made from any room's telephone. For years, Calamari ran the company's surveillance programs at Trump Organization properties, according to BuzzFeed News.

In 2011, Calamari's son, Matthew Calamari Jr joined the Trump Organization and became the company's "Director of Surveillance" in May 2016. In April 2017, he was promoted to become the company's Director of Security. Sources who worked for the Trump Organization told BuzzFeed News that Calamari Jr picked up the surveillance gig from his father.