Donald Trump will not face direct charges in the case, although they could subject the mogul to hefty fines and hamper his future business efforts.
NEW YORK — The numbers guy did the math: Allen Weisselberg — a longtime loyal lieutenant of Donald Trump — could have ended up in prison for years if he had gone to court and failed to defeat the tax evasion allegations. But if he agreed to testify in an upcoming trial against the former president’s firm, he probably wouldn’t serve more than 100 days.
Weisselberg, 75, accepted the deal on Thursday and pleaded guilty to 15 counts including tax fraud and theft.
Now he may become the star witness against the Trump Organization in a lawsuit over what prosecutors call the company’s “extended and brazen” scheme to help top executives, including Weisselberg, collect taxes on perks like luxury cars and rent-free payments to avoid apartments.
Here are the basics of the case and what Weisselberg’s decision to plead guilty means for Donald Trump and his family business.
WHAT ARE ALLEN WEISSELBERG AND THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION TOLD?
Federal authorities said Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, failed to pay taxes on more than $1.7 million in compensation.
Among those perks: The Trump Organization paid the rent for his Manhattan apartment, paid his grandchildren’s private school fees, rented Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, gave him cash for vacation tips, and paid for flat-screen TVs, carpeting, and furniture for his winter home Florida. Weisselberg’s son also did not have to pay rent or pay rent below market rate while living in Trump-owned apartments.
AFTER ALL – IS ALLEN WEISSELBERG STILL THE CHIEF FINANCE OFFICER OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION?
Weisselberg is still employed by the Trump Organization, but his title was changed to Senior Advisor following the July 2021 indictment.
WHY DID ALLEN WEISSELBERG DECIDE TO MAKE A PLEA DEAL?
In the words of Weisselberg’s attorney, it was time to put an end to the years of “legal and personal nightmares it has caused for him and his family.” The Trump Organization appeared to have no hard feelings, calling Weisselberg a “fine and honorable man” who was “harassed, stalked and threatened by law enforcement.”
WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF ALL WEISSELBERG’S PLEA DEAL?
A judge has agreed to sentence Weisselberg to five months in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison complex. If he behaves well, he can be released after a little over three months. He also has to pay nearly $2 million and spend five years on probation. Crucially, however, he must testify truthfully when the Trump Organization goes on trial in October. Weisselberg was only formally sentenced after the trial. Until then, he remains free on bail.
WILL THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION TAKE A PLEASE DEAL TOO?
In its statement, the company said it had done nothing wrong and was “looking forward to our day in court.” Both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization initially pleaded not guilty, claiming the perks were standard for corporations and the investigation was politically motivated. However, Weisselberg’s agreement to testify could significantly damage the company’s defense. That could increase the pressure to resolve the case without a trial.
WHAT DOES THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION ACTUALLY DO?
It’s a business unit through which Trump manages his many corporate affairs, including his investments in office towers, hotels and golf courses, his many marketing deals and his television activities. It operates golf clubs and hotels, collects checks from companies that rent offices, and collects royalties on buildings and others that bear the Trump name.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DONALD TRUMP?
It is unclear. The Republican will not be charged in the case. Prosecutors have not charged Trump with any personal wrongdoing. However, if his company is convicted of a crime, it could result in large fines or make future business deals difficult. A trial beginning in October just before the midterm elections could also yield fresh revelations about the company’s business practices — though Trump supporters might not care. He said the entire case was being concocted by the Democrats to politically damage him.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/trump-cfo-plea/507-87db90e9-47dc-456a-83d0-a12d0a3f0d3b Trump’s longtime CFO pled guilty. What’s next?