Trump's Former Money Guy Pleads Guilty, Heads to Prison

Allen Weisselberg, 75, also may have to testify about Trump Organization
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2022 10:42 AM CDT
Trump's Former CFO Is Going to Rikers
The Trump Organization's former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, arrives at court on Thursday in New York.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

(Newser) – A top executive at former President Trump's family business pleaded guilty Thursday to evading taxes in a deal that could potentially make him a star witness against the company at a fall trial, per the AP. Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to all 15 of the charges he faced in the case. In a low voice, he admitted taking in over $1.7 million worth of untaxed perks—including school tuition for his grandchildren, free rent for a Manhattan apartment, and lease payments for a luxury car—and explicitly keeping some of the plums off the books.

Judge Juan Manuel Merchan agreed to sentence Weisselberg to five months' incarceration at New York City's Rikers Island jail complex, although he'll be eligible for release much earlier if he behaves well behind bars. The judge said Weisselberg will have to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, penalties, and interest. The plea bargain also requires Weisselberg to testify as a prosecution witness when the Trump Organization goes on trial in October on related charges. The company is accused of helping Weisselberg and other executives avoid income taxes by failing to accurately report their full compensation to the government. Trump himself isn't charged in the case.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Weisselberg's plea "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." Testimony by Weisselberg could potentially weaken the Trump Organization's defense. If convicted, the company could face fines or potentially be placed on probation and be forced to change certain business practices. Weisselberg, 75, is the only person to face criminal charges so far in the Manhattan district attorney's long-running investigation of the company's business practices.

(Read more Allen Weisselberg stories.)

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