Trump Organization CFO Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion: Lawyer

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
August 18, 2022New York
Trump Organization CFO Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion: Lawyer
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, N.Y., on Aug. 18, 2022. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Allen Weisselberg, a longtime Trump Organization CFO, pleaded guilty Thursday to tax evasion charges, his lawyer announced Thursday.

“In one of the most difficult decisions of his life, Mr. Weisselberg decided to enter a plea of guilty today to put an end to this case and the years-long legal and personal nightmares it has caused for him and his family,” said Nicholas Gravante Jr., an attorney representing Weisselberg, in a statement to media outlets on Thursday morning.

“Rather than risk the possibility of 15 years in prison, he has agreed to serve 100 days,” he said. “We are glad to have this behind him.”

Weisselberg, 75, changed his 2021 plea of not guilty to guilty in a Manhattan state court.  He is charged with taking more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the Trump Organization over several years, including untaxed perks like rent, car payments, and school tuition.

“Today Allen Weisselberg admitted in Court that he used his position at the Trump Organization to bilk taxpayers and enrich himself,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Thursday to news outlets.

The Democrat district attorney added the plea deal “directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity and requires Weisselberg to provide invaluable testimony” in the upcoming trial.

Weisselberg, who was arrested last July, 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. Former President Donald Trump has described the probe and others as an ideologically motivated witch hunt designed to harm his political chances.

“The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!” Trump said last year.

His lawyers, meanwhile, have stated that Weisselberg was punished by the Democrat district attorney’s office because he wouldn’t offer information that would damage Trump.

The Trump Organization is not involved in Weisselberg’s guilty plea Thursday and is scheduled to be tried in the alleged compensation scheme in October. Lawyers for the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to the charges last year.

Prosecutors have said the company gave untaxed fringe benefits to senior executives, including Weisselberg, for 15 years. Weisselberg alone was accused of defrauding the federal government, state, and city out of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and undeserved tax refunds, officials said.

After Weisselberg was charged last year, the Trump Organization issued a strongly worded statement criticizing the investigation.

“Allen Weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years. He is now being used by the Manhattan district attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President,” a Trump Organization spokesperson said in a statement at the time. “The district attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing.

The Trump Organization has not yet responded to a request for comment after Weisselberg’s plea was announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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