Aug 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty in tax scheme

Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization Inc., center, departs from criminal court in New York, US, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

Allen Weisselberg departs from criminal court in New York on Aug. 12. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg on Thursday pleaded guilty to tax violations and admitted to helping run a years-long tax fraud scheme at the former president’s business.

Why it matters: Weisselberg's testimony may put him front and center at a future trial in the criminal case against the Trump Organization, where he will have to testify about his role in the elaborate scheme.

Driving the news: Weisselberg on Thursday admitted to all 15 felonies that prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office accused him of, but steered away from Trump and his family.

  • Weisselberg has refused to cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation into Trump and his family, the New York Times notes.

The big picture: Last year, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged Weisselberg and the Trump family business for taking more than $1.7 million in "off the books" compensation from the organization.

Details: Under the terms of the plea deal, Weisselberg, who was facing up to 15 years in prison, will serve five months as well as five years of probation, AP reported.

  • With time credited for good behavior, he is expected to be in prison for about 100 days, the New York Times reported.
  • Weisselberg must also pay nearly $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest, per AP.

Under the plea deal, Weisselberg must also testify as a prosecution witness at the forthcoming trial for the Trump Organization, per AP.

  • Prosecutors alleged that the scheme allowed Weisselberg to skirt paying taxes on rent and private school tuition, per the Times.
  • Weisselberg, 75, is the only person facing criminal charges so far in the investigation into the Trump organization's business practices.
  • Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have tried to get the charges dismissed, claiming they were politically motivated.

What to watch: A judge last week denied a request to dismiss the Manhattan tax fraud case against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg, allowing the case to move forward to a trial in October.

Go deeper... Judge denies Trump Organization attempt to dismiss tax fraud case

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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