In August, as part of his plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney, former CFO of the Trump Organization Allen Weisselberg agreed to testify at trial about the years of tax settlement he carried out while he worked Donald Trumpmoney man’s right hand. On Tuesday he did, and, spoiler alert: Trump was not doing well.
Hours before the ex-president and insurance rioter announced he would run for a third time, Weisselberg told a jury that Trump was not only aware of the untaxed benefits at the heart of the administration’s criminal case against the Trump organization, but he was the man who authorized them. Prosecutors have alleged that the Trump family business participated in a plan to reduce not only Weisselberg’s taxable income, but also the taxes the company owed the IRS, by compensating him with off-the-books fringe benefits. Those perks included an apartment on the Upper West Side, leases on a few Mercedes-Benzes, furniture, private school lessons for his grandchildren and cash at Christmas so Weisselberg could hand out “personal holiday tips,” the indictment said.
In her opening statement to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Susan Hoffinger said Trump had “personally” funded the tuition, which Weissleberg backed up Tuesday, noting, per Rolling stone, that while he could authorize small spending, Trump was the one who signed off on big spending. Asked if the private school fees were personally paid by Trump, Weisselberg replied, “Correct.” Of the apartment in which he lived rent-free, Hoffinger asked Weisselberg, “It is your understanding that was authorized by Mr. Trump?” To which Weisselberg replied, “That was my understanding, yes.”
Subsequently, Weisselberg admitted that the benefits weren’t treated as income on his W-2s, and according to Reuters, he clarified how the arrangement benefited both him and the company: Because rent and associated expenses for the apartment had grown to about $200,000 per year. years, the Trump Organization would have had to pay him about double that, if he single-handedly covered housing costs and paid taxes as honest, law-abiding citizens do. amount,” he explained. Later, Hoffinger asked about the role of the Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney, who prosecutors alleged was involved in the scheme. “I definitely felt that in my mind [McConney] knew [the perks] should have been reported,” Weisselberg said. He also gave Hoffinger a final “yes” that the plan saved the Trump Organization money, which would no doubt have pleased the notoriously cheap Trump.
The Trump Organization, charged with a string of crimes at the same time as Weisselberg last year, has pleaded not guilty. Susan Necheles, tried to argue at trial that both the company and Donald Trump had no idea what their long-running executive was up to, which seems dubious for a number of reasons, not least because Trump himself has a documented history, per The New York Times, Nevertheless, Necheles has maintained that the tax settlement “began with Allen Weisselberg and ended with Allen Weisselberg”. 15 years in prison.
In other not-so-great revelations for the ex-president on Tuesday, Weisseleberg said that while he no longer holds the title of chief financial officer, he still essentially does the same job for the company, goes to office and earns the same $640,000 annual salary. plus a $500,000 bonus. Which seems odd to us considering that, according to Necheles, neither the Trump Organization nor Donald Trump had any idea that Weisselberg was breaking the law all these years as one and would learn about the scheme. It seems like something you’d probably fire someone for, or at least stop paying over $1 million a year for, but what do we know?
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