Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg Pleads Guilty In New York Tax Case

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Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, pleaded guilty on Thursday to 15 charges related to tax fraud and evasion.

Weisselberg’s plea requires that he testify against the Trump Organization, as opposed to Donald Trump himself, at an upcoming trial.

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Weisselberg faces a five month jail sentence on Rikers Island and five years probation, and paying nearly $2 million in taxes, penalty and interest.

Last year, New York prosecutors charged Weisselberg and the Trump Organization in an alleged scheme to evade taxes on more than $1.7 million in income.

Weisselberg initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors had described a 15-year tax scheme and said the charges include 15 felony counts, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records. They said they have digital drives with grand jury testimony, bookkeeping records, tax records, statements of potential witnesses. The allegations were that the company provided perks to employees including the CFO including free rent, utilities, car leases, tuition, cash and other gifts, that were not reported as income.

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement, “This plea agreement directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity and requires Weisselberg to provide invaluable testimony in the upcoming trial against the corporation.” The trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 24.

Trump himself was not charged, and Weisselberg’s plea deal signals that Manhattan prosecutors ultimately were unable to get the CFO to testify against the former president himself. Bragg said that the investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization is ongoing.

The pending trial is just one related cases facing the former president or those who have been in his orbit. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who was part of the Manhattan D.A.’s investigation, also has been conducting a civil investigation into the business practices of Trump’s companies. The former president sat for a deposition last week, but pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination.

Later on Thursday, a federal magistrate judge is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to unseal an affidavit that was used as the basis for an FBI search of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate. Last week, federal agents recovered 11 sets of material marked classified, according to an inventory list. The material was taken to Mar-A-Lago after Trump left office, but the National Archives has contended that it has supervision over the documents.

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