Former Trump Organization controller breaks down in tears at trial

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The former corporate controller of the Trump Organization broke down in tears Tuesday while testifying in former President Trump’s civil fraud trial, saying he “gave up” on his job because of the company’s mounting legal woes.

Ex-Trump executive Jeffrey McConney took the witness stand for the fourth day in the trial. The case was brought against the former president by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).

When asked by defense lawyer Jesus M. Suarez why he no longer works at the company, McConney appeared to be crying while he discussed his more than 35 years of overseeing finances, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

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“I’m very proud of the work that I did,” McConney told the New York court, before recounting the investigations and legal proceedings that he has been subpoenaed for or called to testify in, per the AP.

“I just wanted to relax and stop being accused of misrepresenting assets for the company that I loved working for. I’m sorry,” McConney said with a trembling voice.

McConney worked at the Trump Organization from 1987 until this past February, telling the court he retired and is receiving a total of $500,000 in severance payments.

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The former accountant also testified last month when called by James’s office, where he explained how he and other executives determined asset values that he argued were legitimate. On Tuesday, McConney testified that he never meant to mislead anyone or to be inaccurate, adding he “felt comfortable” with the company’s valuations.

“I think everything was justified. Numbers don’t represent fully what these assets are worth,” he reportedly said.

James’s $250 million lawsuit — against Trump, the Trump Organization and the former president’s two adult sons — alleges the company sought lower taxes and better insurance coverage by falsely inflating and deflating the value of its assets. Trump and his sons have denied the claims.

Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his co-defendants engaged in fraud, while the trial will decide on claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

The former president has repeatedly argued the case is motivated by politics and that Engoron and his principal law clerk are biased against him.

Trump’s legal team used this as a basis for requesting a mistrial in the case earlier this month, but the motion was denied last week.

Last year, McConney was granted immunity to testify in Trump’s criminal tax fraud trial, where he admitted to helping other executives avoid taxes on company-paid perks. The Trump Organization was convicted last December and is appealing.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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