Weisselberg to plead guilty, could testify against Trump Org. in fraud case

  • In US
  • 2022-08-18 03:06:50Z
  • By CBS News

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg is expected to plead guilty Thursday to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion, acknowledging that he was part of a scheme to receive more than $1.7 million in off-the-books perks and compensation.

Weisselberg was charged alongside two Trump Organization companies that prosecutors claim took part in the scheme, which allegedly benefited other company executives. The company has entered a not guilty plea and jury selection for its trial is scheduled for Oct. 24.

Prosecutors will ask a New York judge Friday to impose a sentence of five months incarceration for Weisselberg, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Weisselberg can be called as a witness during the company's trial to testify under oath about the crimes he's admitting to Thursday. He has not agreed to provide any new or supplemental information about Donald Trump or the company that bears his name, according to the sources.

Trump was not charged, and has previously denounced the case as a "witch hunt."

Allen Weisselberg leaves after a hearing on his criminal case at Manhattan Criminal Court on August 12, 2022.
Allen Weisselberg leaves after a hearing on his criminal case at Manhattan Criminal Court on August 12, 2022.  

Weisselberg and the company were indicted by a grand jury in July 2021. The indictment alleged the company and Weisselberg funneled "indirect employee compensation" to the longtime executive beginning in 2005. The company failed to report the payments to tax authorities, prosecutors said.

"It was orchestrated by the most senior executives, who were financially benefiting themselves and the company, by getting secret pay raises at the expense of state and federal taxpayers," Carey Dunne, at the time an assistant district attorney, told the judge at a court hearing last year.

Weisselberg and the company asked New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan in February to dismiss all 15 counts charged against them. On Aug. 12, Merchan dismissed one of tax fraud counts against the Trump Organization, but allowed 14 others to remain. No charges against Weisselberg were dismissed.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office and attorneys for Weisselberg declined to comment before the Thursday hearing.

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