Since being charged with more than a dozen crimes related to an alleged 15-year tax fraud scheme, the Trump Organization has steadily maintained that it is 100% innocent. Allen Weisselberg, the long-running CFO who was instructed at the same time has not done so, instead pleading guilty to all charges and agreeing to testify against the company in August. That testimony started this week when he coupled up Donald Trump in the illegal activity, and continued Thursday, when he also suggested the ex-president’s two eldest sons.
ABC News reports that Weisselberg told jurors that, in addition to Trump himself, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. would sign checks for as much as $100,000 to pay for his grandchildren’s school fees. While that may sound like a kind and generous gesture – look at these Trumps, who want the best possible education for their employees’ grandchildren! — the tuition is simply rechecked — one of several off-the-book benefits Weisselberg says he received from the Trump Organization that are not recorded as income, meaning neither he nor the company pay taxes. paid for his apartment on the Upper West Side, as well as a few rented Mercedes-Benzes, among other things. The long-running executive is also said to have received cash at Christmas which he would then use to distribute “personal holiday tips.” according to the indictment.)
Weisselberg said Thursday that the first time Trump gave him a tuition check, the CFO told his boss, “Remember, I’m going to pay you back for this.” How did Weisselberg repay Trump? , the ex-president would deduct the cost of these various payments from his salary. That way it was a — highly illegal — win-win: Weisselberg wouldn’t have to pay income tax on the benefits and the company would have to pay less. Plus, Weisselberg noted Tuesday, if the Trump Org had told Weisselberg to move out of the apartment, out of pocket, they should have “given me double the amount” to account for those expenses. He also said he and other executives received large bonuses paid as if they were independent contractors, not full-time employees, noting that “Trump always wanted to sign the bonus checks” before he became president.
Later, as a defense attorney Alan Futerfas asked Weisselberg directly if Trump had authorized him to commit tax fraud, Weisselberg replied that Trump had not. Of course, it’s important to note that Trump has a long history of speaking in code when he does something that could be illegal, only to later claim innocence as his former attorney. Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019, “He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders. He speaks in a code. And I understand the code, because I’ve been around him for a decade.” centered around his coded but obvious demand that Ukraine’s president dig up dirt on the Bidens or risk being cut off by the United States, which, as The Washington Post noted, “is also the way mob bosses like to talk. They don’t want to say things directly if those things can be used against them, by eavesdropping on law enforcement agencies.” Clearly, Trump never called Weisselberg into office and said, “Allen, I’d like you to commit tax fraud for me,” because you didn’t have to.
Also remarkable? That Weisselberg still works for the Trump Organization! And in the office appears! And earns his annual salary of $640,000! And, perhaps most importantly, this week tested that he still expects to receive his full $500,000 bonus!
Anyway, the Trump boys seem to have made no comment on Weisselberg’s allegations. In July 2021, just after the Trump Organization — where they worked for most of their adult lives and took over when their father became president — was indicted, they insisted that people dodge taxes all the time and that the plan where it company and Weisselberg were accused of, is not a big deal.