Allen Weisselberg, a longtime CFO for the Trump Organization, will enter a guilty plea to 15 felony counts before a judge TODAY after reaching a plea agreement that calls for a possible sentence of 100 days in jail.
Allen Weisselberg, the longtime CFO of former President Donald Trump, is scheduled to appear before a judge in New York on Thursday to confess to 15 felonies after striking a remarkable plea agreement that would have him serve only 100 days of a five-month jail sentence.
The plea, which was first mentioned Wednesday night, would exempt Weisselberg from having to testify against his former employer, whose father Fred Trump had brought him into the organization that would help Donald Trump win the presidency.
However, he would have to testify about a long list of unethical business activities, tax fraud, and financial crimes.
He is anticipated to receive a five-month prison term from the judge. But according to insiders, he might only spend 100 days in jail due to time off for good behavior.
Weisselberg, 75, is scheduled to make his plea before Manhattan-based state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.
Details of his plea agreement were disclosed Wednesday by The New York Times.
The former executive, who along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., assisted in running the Trump Organization while Trump was in the White House, will have to admit to all 15 felonies with which he was charged and give testimony about his involvement in a scheme to evade taxes on lavish corporate perks.
Weisselberg will be a key witness at the Trump Organization’s trial in October, where it will be accused of many of the same offenses, as a result of this testimony.
In his testimony, he is not anticipated to incriminate either the former president or any Trump family members.
But the acknowledgment from one of the Trump Organization’s top executives that he committed the crimes will undercut any effort by the company’s lawyers to argue that no crime was committed.
In tax fraud schemes involving the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation, he is anticipated to enter a guilty plea.
According to a number of sources familiar with the probe, the Trump Organization is anticipated to respond aggressively.
One person who confirmed that Weisselberg had agreed to plead guilty to 15 felony charges and potentially have his potential prison sentence reduced to 100 days added, “They are completely cranked up for trial and expect to fight this all the way through.”
Weisselberg was long considered a member of the family, according to a source acquainted with the former president Trump’s thinking.
They claimed that “they broke him in their effort to get Trump, and he simply wanted this finished.” He is regarded as a good man by all.
The guilty plea is just the latest event to undercut Trump’s campaign statement that ‘surround[s] myself only with the best and most serious people.’
Prosecutors are expected to use Weisselberg’s testimony as a springboard to broader claims against the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg, 75, is the only Trump executive charged in the years-long criminal investigation started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who went to the Supreme Court to secure Trump’s tax records.
Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg, is now overseeing the investigation. Several other Trump executives have been granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in the case.
Weisselberg began working for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, in 1973.
He climbed the ranks at the Trump Organization in the decades that followed. By the late 1980s, he was controller of the company and, in 2000, was named chief financial officer and vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. He also was a board member and treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
He has also handled the household expenses of the Trump family.
On January 11, 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States, the Trump Organization announced that Weisselberg would manage the company along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during Trump’s presidency.
That stewardship came despite public pressure at the time for Trump to completely divest from the company at a time when he was running the country.
Weisselberg has unsurpassed knowledge of the inner financial workings of the Trump Organization and was under heavy pressure from prosecutors to cooperate in their investigation.
Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization schemed to give off-the-books compensation to senior executives, including Weisselberg, for 15 years.
Weisselberg was charged with evading $1.7 million of income, including rent for a Manhattan apartment, lease payments for two Mercedes-Benz vehicles and tuition for family members, with Trump signing checks for the tuition himself.
Prosecutors obtained information on the tuition by subpoenaing Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School for document.
The children’s mother, Jennifer Weisselberg, told the Wall Street Journal payments totaled $500,000 from 2012 to 2019.
He also was accused of defrauding the federal government, state and city out of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and undeserved tax refunds.
The Trump Organization itself is being investigated for its own tax practices: including pumping up valuations when seeking lending, while low-balling values with tax authorities, according to James’ office.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty. Donald Trump has not been charged with any crimes.
He has decried the New York investigations as a ‘political witch hunt,’ has said his company’s actions were standard practice in the real estate business and in no way a crime.
The trial is scheduled for late October.
If the schedule holds, the Trump Organization will be on trial during the November midterm elections where the former president’s Republican Party could win control of one or both houses of Congress.
Some Republican leaders already fumed that Trump’s election fraud claims may have cost the party control of the Senate amid two runoff elections in Georgia in 2020.
Trump is also considering another presidential bid for 2024, and has continued to tease a potential run following the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home, in connection with yet another probe, this one relating to removal of classified White House materials to his Florida country club.
Trump took the witness stand last week as part of a concurrent civil probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James investigating claims that Trump’s business misled lenders and tax officials about asset values.
More than 400 times, Trump used his Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination. This new development stands in stark contrast to Trump’s previous public comments regarding the right against self-incrimination. The mob takes the Fifth, as you can see. Why are you taking the Fifth Amendment if you’re innocent?
The criminal investigation seemed to be moving toward a potential indictment of Trump himself in the months following Weisselberg’s arrest, but after Bragg took office in January, the investigation slowed, a grand jury was disbanded, and a top prosecutor left – although he insists it is still ongoing.
The guilty plea from Weisselberg is merely the most recent development in a case that has already touched three of Trump’s adult children.
Eric Trump, a manager for the Trump Organization, also testified and often referred to the Fifth Amendment.
Following a legal battle in recent weeks, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. both gave testimony. They arrived for a delayed appearance due to the passing of their mother, Ivana. In May, a New York appeals court decided that Trump and his adult children must provide testimony as part of James’ investigation.
Executive Donald Trump Jr. assisted in leading the nation while his father was in the White House.
Don Jr. apparently refused to use the Fifth Amendment and provided information to the investigators.
Ivana Trump was an unpaid White House aide in the Trump White House. She served as a contact with Deutsche Bank, which served as the company’s primary lender.
Weisselberg’s plea deal lis just the latest bombshell legal development for Trump this summer.
Earlier this month, FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago in search of classified documents after the former president’s office returned 15 boxes of other material to the government.
Longtime Trump advisor and former lawyer Rudy Giuliani testified Wednesday in Fulton County, Georgia in a probe Trump’s election overturn effort in the state. On Monday, Giuliani’s lawyer said prosecutors had told his client he was a target of the probe.
The House Jan. 6th Committee continues its own investigation of the Capitol riot, with panel vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney losing her primary in Wyoming and Trump celebrating her loss.
Former White House lawyer have been revealed to have testified before a federal grand jury under subpoena as federal prosecutors probe Jan. 6th.