Donald Trump may have just announced that he officially intends to run for the 2024 presidency, but that’s not the only news that has broken about him. It’s just been revealed that major untaxed perks were “authorized” by the former president, according to his former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty of tax fraud in August and agreed to testify as part of a plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Former CFO of Trump Organization turns on Trump and his family. Allen Weisselberg testifies in court Donald Trump, Don Jr, and Eric Trump were directly involved in a massive fraud scheme. (CBS News) pic.twitter.com/AzTSZkrtfV
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) November 17, 2022
Donald Trump’s Former CFO Testifies Against Him
Weisselberg told a jury that Trump, 76, was not only aware of the untaxed benefits at the heart of the government’s criminal case against the Trump Organization, but he was the guy who authorized them, as it was ‘convenient for the company’ for Weisselberg and other senior employees to receive benefits and bonuses that were not declared as part of their regular salary.
On one occasion in 2012, the former president apparently signed checks for Weisselberg’s grandchildren’s private school tuition after Donald Trump Jr. had walked in with his own children’s tuition checks to have signed. “I may as well pay for your grandkids too,” Trump reportedly joked. Weisselberg added that he reduced his salary by the amount of the tuition in order to pay back the money, however this resulted not only in less taxable income for himself, but also for the Trump Organization by paying him less.
BREAKING: Trump “authorized” tax evasion tricks for executive pay at Trump Org, according to Allen Weisselberg’s trial testimony today. Trump approved Weisselberg being given a rent-free apartment, private school tuition, etc, dodging millions in taxes.
Not a good day for Trump.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) November 16, 2022
Other perks that the former CFO benefitted from were a $200,000 a year apartment on the Upper West Side, leases on two Mercedes cars, and cash at Christmas to hand out as ‘personal holiday gratuities.’ “In order to get a raise to be able to pay for those expenses, the Trump Corporation would have had to give me double the amount of those expenses because taxes would have been withheld,” Weisselberg said. The prosecution claims this was a scheme to pay less taxes all round, but the defense states Weisselberg acted on his own.
Trump Organization Covers Its Tracks
Perhaps even shadier than the backhanded benefits received by Weisselberg is the fact that the company made a conscious effort to cover up the fraudulent activity once Trump became president in 2016. Trump stopped signing these checks himself, and senior executives started to have their perks declared as part of their salary. “We were going through an entire clean-up process at the company,” Weisselberg testified about the period following Trump’s election, to “make sure we correct everything.” He continued, “I started paying my rent directly, I paid my tuition directly.”
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg testified Tuesday that Donald Trump personally green-lighted untaxed benefits in a criminal trial. https://t.co/PgNuAtchTM
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) November 15, 2022
In addition to this, Accounts Payable Supervisor Deborah Tarasoff – who was responsible for paying the bills at the Trump Organization and admitted to paying the bills for Weisselberg’s apartment and cars – testified that she had altered the company ledger in 2016 at Weisselberg’s request to remove 12 references to his name in connection with the tuition payments. “Allen called me into his office and told me to do it,” Tarasoff said. “He said, ‘I want you to go in and take my name off.'”
The company executives remain adamant though that the former president had nothing to do with this fraudulent activity, with Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney testifying that neither Donald Trump nor his son Eric Trump – who ran the company while his father was in office – were aware that they were committing tax fraud.
Donald Trump Announces 2024 Presential Candidacy
This news comes just a few days after Trump officially announced that he intends to run for president in 2024, his third presidential bid. He made the announcement on Tuesday, November 15th from the ballroom of his private Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, just a few days after his youngest daughter Tiffany Trump got married there.
“We have always known that this was not the end. It was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream. In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said as part of his hour-long speech, which he gave while stood on a stage surrounded by American flags and MAGA (Make America Great Again) banners.
“America’s golden age is just ahead,” he added, before going on to slam current President Joe Biden. “Joe Biden is the face of left-wing failure and Washington corruption,” Trump said. “I will ensure that Joe Biden does not receive four more years… Our country could not take that.”