Ex-Trump Org. CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to tax fraud

Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization Inc., arrives to criminal court in New York, US, on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.

Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization chief financial officer, pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple tax fraud charges in a case involving the company’s business dealings.

Weisselberg, 75, agreed to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, interest, and penalties and serve five months in jail on Rikers Island followed by five years of probation, the judge said.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were charged in June 2021 in what prosecutors described as an “off the books” scheme over 15 years to help top officials in the Trump Organization avoid paying taxes. Weisselberg was accused of avoiding paying taxes on $1.7 million of his income.

In court on Thursday, Weisselberg said he understood that he could face up to 15 years in prison if he doesn’t pay back the taxes or doesn’t testify truthfully at the trial of the Trump Organization this fall. 

His attorney, Nicholas Gravante Jr., said in a statement that Weisselberg pleaded guilty “to put an end to this case and the years-long legal and personal nightmares it has caused for him and his family. Rather than risk the possibility of 15 years in prison, he has agreed to serve 100 days. We are glad to have this behind him.”

Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg (C) leaves Manhattan Criminal Courthouse after pleading guilty to criminal charges tied to his indictment in a tax fraud case involving the company’s business dealings. – Weisselberg, a long-time employee of former US President Donald Trump’s company, was charged with 15 felony counts in connection with an alleged scheme stretching back to 2005 that sought “to compensate Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives in a manner that was ‘off the books.'” Prosecutors allege Weisselberg failed to pay taxes on $1.7 million in income, including luxury perks, such as a Manhattan apartment, a pair of Mercedes-Benz cars and private school tuition for two family members. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Timothy A. Clary | Afp | Getty Images

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement that Weisselberg used his position at the company “to bilk taxpayers and enrich himself.”

“Instead of paying his fair share like everyone else, Weisselberg had the Trump Organization provide him with a rent-free apartment, expensive cars, private school tuition for his grandchildren and new furniture — all without paying required taxes,” Bragg said. “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 against the corporation.”

The Trump Organization faces separate charges, but there is no allegation of criminal wrongdoing against Trump, who has faced long-simmering criminal investigations on multiple fronts that have captured national attention since the FBI’s search of his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, last week. There also has not been any indication that Weisselberg will cooperate in any investigation into Trump personally. 

Bragg said in his statement that the investigation into Trump and the company is ongoing.

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