The former chief financial officer of the Trump organization, Allen Weisselberg, admitted in a New York court that he used the company of former President Donald Trump to evade taxes. The 75-year-old answered numerous questions from Judge Juan Merchan several times yesterday with “Yes, Your Honor,” as US media unanimously reported in court. He allegedly pleaded guilty to a total of 15 counts, including conspiracy, tax fraud, aggravated theft and falsification of business records.
With his guilty plea, the top official agreed to a settlement in the criminal proceedings to avoid a prison sentence of up to 15 years. In return, Weisselberg must testify against the company in the trial if the prosecution wants to summon him — but not against Trump himself. Weisselberg has to pay a fine of nearly two million dollars (1.98 million euros) and serve five months in prison.
In early July last year, prosecutors filed criminal charges against the Trump organization’s business practices after years of investigation. Alongside family members, Weisselberg is considered a key figure in the company. Donald Trump was once known as a real estate mogul as the head of the Trump Organization, which consists of many smaller companies. He is considered to be very closely linked to his corporate empire.