The Manhattan district attorney’s office has yet to present evidence in the Harvey Weinstein rape case to a grand jury, but is already hard at work on their next probe into the disgraced movie mogul.
Law enforcement sources tell the New York Post that Cyrus Vance Jr. is trying to build an embezzlement case, spending the past few weeks speaking to former employees of Weinstein and gathering documents after serving approximately two dozen subpoenas.
It is being reported that this second investigation is meant to ensure that Weinstein is not able to avoid prosecution on at least one charge should the rape case fall apart.
When contacted by DailyMail.com, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment.
‘Any financial settlements by Mr. Weinstein were fully vetted and approved by legal counsel for Mr. Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,’ said his lawyer Ben Branfman.
‘There was never any intent by Mr Weinstein to violate the law and as a result, we do not believe that any criminal charges will be filed once all of the facts are carefully reviewed.’
New focus: The Manhattan district attorney’s office has launched a probe into possible charges of money laundering or embezzlement against Harvey Weinstein (Weinstein and Paz de la Huerta above in 2010)
Trouble: It is believed he may have misappropriated funds from The Weinstein Company to silence some of his victims
The district attorney’s office is also continuing to stay quiet about the status of the Weinstein rape case, which seems to have gone cold in the two months since Paz de la Huerta came forward.
De la Huerta’s lawyer Carrie Goldberg said earlier this month that she was conerned that charges would not be pursued in the case.
Goldberg said that despite meeting with her client twice and subpoenaing thousands of documents to back up her claims, Vance and the district attorney’s office have said they will not present the case to a grand jury.
The district attorney’s office was quick to shoot this down however, stating: ‘This remains very much an active investigation. We’ll decline further comment.’
A spokesperson for the DA who spoke with DailyMail.com further explained: ‘The reports of it “stalling” are not accurate.’
Law enforcement meanwhile has been very clear about where they stand on the case.
‘We have a credible and detailed narrative, and even though the incident occurred seven years ago there has been corroboration from a number of individuals,’ said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce in late October.
He went on to reveal that investigators contacted the district attorney’s office soon after they interviewed de la Huerta and ‘started working the case together.’
Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting the actress on two occasions, but has denied any and all allegations of non-consensual sex through his spokesperson.
The actress reported the incidents to authorities on October 25, and was found to be a strong and credible witness.
‘I really can’t comment but we’ll move as fast as we can to resolve the outstanding issues,’ said Vance at that time, almost three years after he decided not to prosecute Weinstein despite having audio of him admitting to assaulting Ambra Battilana.
‘We are on the same page when it comes to mission, which is protecting the public and preventing crime and building investigations and cases,’ said Vance at the time of the work between his office and the NYPD.
Vance also urged any victims to come forward and promised that their claims and allegations would be looked into by his team.
It all feels a bit like deja vu, with the district attorney’s office previously not pursuing the 2015 case against Weinstein.
‘This case was taken seriously from the outset, with a thorough investigation conducted by our sex crimes unit,’ said Joan Vollero at the time.
‘After analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge is not supported.’
The New York Times revealed in October that Weinstein surrounded himself with a very connected team of litigators before learning that charges would not be pursued in the case.
He retained Elkan Abramowitz, a former law partner of Vance, and Daniel S. Connolly, who was also a former prosecutor.
Linda Fairstein came on as a consultant and introduced Weinstein’s lawyer Abramowitz to Martha Bashford, the head of the district attorney’s sex crimes bureau.
‘We have an actual case here, so we’re happy with where the investigation is right now,’ said Chief Boyce back in early November in a rare public comment on an ongoing investigation.
‘Mr Weinstein is out of state we would need an arrest warrant, to arrest him. So right now we’re gathering our evidence and we continue to do so, every day. So that’s where we are in the case.’
No go: ‘Any financial settlements by Mr. Weinstein were fully vetted and approved by legal counsel for Mr. Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,’ said his lawyer (Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 1999)
Chief Boyce revealed during that press conference that subpoenas have been issued, before adding: ‘If this person was still in New York and it was recent we would go right away and make the arrest, no doubt. But we’re talking about a seven-year-old case. And we have to move forward gathering evidence.
Chief Boyce also made it very clear that de la Huerta was a strong witness, noting her ‘ability to articulate each and every movement of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did.
The case was further bolstered because De la Huerta was the first victim who was allegedly assaulted by Weinstein after 2006, when New York did away with the statute of limitations in instances of rape, criminal sexual act or aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree.
The assaults alleged by the other two women took place before that law was changed, which means that even if the district attorney’s office files charges against Weinstein in those cases they could be tossed out of court by a judge.
Chief Boyce seemed to suggest that those probes have been put on hold while the focus turns to de la Huerta’s allegations.
At the same time, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced that they had assigned a senior sex crimes prosecutor to work on the case.
‘As to others, I’m not going to close the door and say others wont come forward, but this is what we have right now, this is what we’re moving forward with,’ said Chief Boyce.
Weinstein whas only been spotted a handful of time since he fled New York City the day after he was first accused of assault and harassment in a New York Times expose.