NEWYORK | The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who is close to Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion on Thursday and is required to testify against the company, according to a press release from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office.
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Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion involving $1.76 million in unreported earnings between 2005 and 2021, the statement said.
This discreet 75-year-old man, who has worked for the Trumps since 1973, is accused by the courts of encroaching on non-cash benefits, notably an apartment in an upscale Manhattan neighborhood, renting two Mercedes for him and his wife and having received cash for his vacation hides everything from the tax authorities.
“Today Allen Weisselberg admitted in court that he used his position at the Trump Organization to defraud taxpayers and for personal gain,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in the statement.
“The settlement reached with the court directly ties the Trump Organization to a broad spectrum of criminal activity and requires Mr. Weisselberg to provide valuable testimony against the company in the upcoming trial,” he added.
Allen Weisselberg initially pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him in July 2021 and risked up to 15 years in prison.
Under the terms of the agreement, he now faces just five months in prison and will have to pay nearly $2 million in back taxes plus penalties and interest, according to the press release.
Allen Weisselberg has always refused to personally testify against Donald Trump.
The criminal trial of the Trump Organization, which has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to begin on October 24.
Another investigation, this time civil but related to the same suspicion of financial and tax fraud at the Trump Organization, is being led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
In this regard, Donald Trump was forced to testify under oath last week but refused to answer questions under the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows any litigant not to testify against themselves.
In another case, Donald Trump’s Florida home was searched last week.
FBI investigators suspect the Republican of violating a US espionage law that severely restricts possession of confidential national security-related documents, some of which can only be consulted or viewed in secure buildings, according to court documents.
A parliamentary committee is also trying to clarify the billionaire’s role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.