Politics /

Trump Org CFO Pleads Guilty To 15 Felonies, Will Testify Against Company In October Trial

The chief financial officer of the Trump Organization has pleaded guilty to 15 felony counts in relation to his involvement in a payroll tax scheme and has agreed to testify against his employer during an upcoming October trial.

Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization chief financial officer who served the Trump family for decades beginning with Donald’s father Fred, has pleaded guilty to a number of counts related to a payroll tax fraud scheme that prosecutors say dates back to at least 2005. Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives benefited directly from this scheme that saw C-suite managers receiving money “off the books.”

For his part, Weisselberg admitted to receiving $1.7 million in unreported income, benefits, and other incentives like tuition for his grandchildren. The benefits were then left off of his personal tax returns. As part of the plea deal, Weisselberg will pay $1.9 million in back taxes and interest.

Weisselberg will now spend the next five months under incarceration and be forced to testify in October during the trial against the Trump business. And although the long-time employee of the organization will testify as part of his plea deal, none of the Trump family members are expected to be implicated in any criminal scheme. The organization may be forced to pay up for similar incidents of tax evasion.

“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,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said. “We look forward to proving our case in court.”

“There is zero tolerance for individuals who defraud our state and cheat our communities,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. “For years, Mr. Weisselberg broke the law to line his own pockets and fund a lavish lifestyle. Today, that misconduct ends. Let this guilty plea send a loud and clear message: we will crack down on anyone who steals from the public for personal gain because no one is above the law.”

The Trump family has placed a large amount of trust in Weisselberg over the years and it was with Weisselberg that Donald Trump entrusted his fortune (alongside his son, Donald Jr.) when he first entered the oval office and put his assets into a revocable trust.

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