Former longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg expected to be star witness in company’s tax fraud trial

Former President Donald Trump with his former CFO Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower in 2017.Evan Vucci/AP

  • Former Trump Organization CFO will be a star witness in the company’s tax fraud trial, Bloomberg reports.

  • Allen Weisselberg, 75, agreed to testify as part of a plea deal for a five-month prison sentence.

  • Jury selection for the trial will begin on Monday in Manhattan.

The veteran former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization is expected to be a star witness in the upcoming criminal tax fraud trial against the company, reports say.

Allen Weisselberg, 75, who worked for the company for decades, will be called to testify about former President Donald Trump’s business, Bloomberg reported.

The complex jury selection for the trial will begin on Monday in Manhattan. Potential jurors will be grilled on their opinion of Trump and if it impedes their ability to fairly evaluate the evidence, per The Washington Post.

Prosecutors allege that the company engaged in a tax fraud scheme by compensating senior executives with perks like apartments and company cars under Weisselberg’s supervision. Trump is not personally charged.

Weisselberg, who has long been one of Trump’s most loyal deputies, pleaded guilty in August to 15 felony counts, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, and criminal tax fraud, in exchange for a maximum five-month jail sentence.

Under the plea’s conditions, Weisselberg — a loyal, 40-year bookkeeper for Trump and his family — agreed to testify in the upcoming trial.

His attorney Nicholas Gravante told Bloomberg that he is required to testify truthfully or else the deal will be revoked, and he could face up to 15 years in prison.

“The world is about to see just how the Trump Organization runs its business,” Barbara McQuade, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at the University of Michigan Law School, told Bloomberg.

“This is a significant case. The criminal charges are against Trump’s corporation, a small private company, but Donald Trump is the Trump Organization.”

A source familiar with Weisselberg’s thinking previously told Insider’s Laura Italiano that he has no intention of implicating anyone in the Trump family, either as part of his testimony or in cooperation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s ongoing Trump Organization probe.

Weisselberg reportedly received various benefits during his time working for the Trump Organization, including an apartment, a Mercedes-Benz, and tuition payments to a private school for his grandchildren, Bloomberg said. Prosecutors say these should have been taxed like income.

Prosecutors will likely ask him whether other senior executives, including Trump’s children, received similar perks, according to Bloomberg.

Manhattan prosecutors had attempted to “flip” the longtime Trump executive as part of its three-year investigation into Trump and his company for possible financial wrongdoing.

If the Trump Organization is found guilty, it would have to pay back taxes and fines totaling about $1.6 million.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Comment