In a declaration filed on May 3 in the Weinstein Co's bankruptcy proceedings, lawyer Benjamin Brafman said Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being carried out by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan.
The mogul's career went down in flames last October over sexual assault allegations following bombshell articles in The New York Times and New Yorker, which sparked a sexual harassment watershed across the United States and won both outlets a Pulitzer.
Actress Rose McGowan, who was among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said: "I actually did not believe this day would come".
"Boogie Nights" actress Heather Graham, who has spoken of unsettling encounters with Weinstein in the early 2000s, wrote on Twitter that, instead of focusing on him, she would be celebrating powerful women.
Donald Trump's victory in 2016 hardened the resolve of many women who, when confronted with the Weinstein case in October, saw a rare chance that a serial predator with huge prestige and clout might be held accountable.
It is not clear yet if Weinstein will also face federal charges.
In October, when the flood of accusations from dozens of women began to come out against Weinstein, Trump told reporters at the time: "I've known Harvey Weinstein for a long time, I'm not at all surprised to see it". He sought treatment for sex addiction at a facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, the New York Times reported.
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The Justice Department's internal probe began in March at the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and congressional Republicans.
"Just the idea of him getting out of a police vehicle with handcuffs is very satisfying because it makes it concrete", she said.
Weinstein, who has long denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, was arraigned Friday morning on rape and other charges involving two of the scores of women who have accused him.
"He forced me to perform oral sex on him", she said.
Sex crimes, aside from child pornography cases, are usually handled by local prosecutors under state law, but federal charges can be brought under certain circumstances if a person brings a victim across state lines for the objective of a sexual assault or the attack happens on federal lands. "I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't, '" she added. Weinstein was arrested by the New York City police department shortly thereafter and taken to court.
As he surrendered, the 66-year-old Weinstein found himself surrounded by lights and cameras in a spectacle he couldn't control. Britain has no statute of limits on rape cases; some of the allegations under investigation there date to the 1980s.
He co-founded Miramax, which has produced such Academy Award-winning films as Pulp Fiction, Chicago, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love.
They continued to work for the firm until 2005 when they quit to set up the Weinstein Company, which spawned hits including The King's Speech, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.
The public allegations against Weinstein helped prompt a broad public reckoning about sexual misconduct.