Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty after being indicted on tax fraud and grand larceny charges on Thursday afternoon.
Update (7/1/21, 3:50 p.m. ET): Allen Weisselberg, 73, the chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, was indicted along with his company on Thursday July 1, after an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney. The indictment noted that Weisselberg and the company were being accused of a “scheme to defraud in the first degree.” Weisselberg is facing tax fraud, grand larceny and more charges, according to The New York Times. The indictment says that Weisselberg didn’t pay taxes on $1.7 million worth of benefits that should’ve been recorded as part of his income. He pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers said he’d fight the charges in a statement to The Times.
Update (7/1/21, 8:45 a.m. ET): Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, was indicted on Thursday July 1 by a Grand Jury, according to The New York Times. Weisselberg was being investigated by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for fringe benefits he had received from former President Donald Trump. Weisselberg turned himself over to the district attorney, and the indictment detailing the exact charges is expected to be revealed later Thursday afternoon. Weisselberg is expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon.
Following Weisselberg’s surrender, the Trump Organization released a statement, implying that the CFO was unfairly targeted due to his connection with the ex-president. “The district attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the I.R.S. or any other district attorney would ever think of bringing,” the company said in a statement to The New York Times.
Original: Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer for former President Donald Trump‘s family business, the Trump Organization, may face criminal charges levied by the Manhattan district attorney. The district attorney’s office seems to have been accumulating information about Weisselberg for months in an attempt to gain his cooperation in larger case regarding Trump’s business dealings, according to The New York Times. The CFO is expected to be charged on Thursday July 1, via The Wall Street Journal. Here are five things that you should know about Weisselberg and the charges he’s facing.
Weisselberg Has Worked For The Trump Family For Decades
Weisselberg has been loyal to Trump for nearly 50 years. He began his career as an accountant for the former president’s dad Fred Trump’s company in 1973. Working his way up through the organization for years, Weisselberg was named CFO of Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts in 2000. Trump raved about Weisselberg in his 2004 book How To Get Rich. “Allen has been with me for 30 years and knows how to get things done,” Trump wrote.
Weisselberg’s Possible Charges
The charges being brought against Weisselberg stem from fringe benefits that Trump provided the CFO. Prosecutors have been investigating whether or not Weisselberg paid taxes on things like private school tuition, leased cars or apartments that Trump had given to him and his family as benefits, according to The New York Times. The charges appear to be more of an attempt to gain insight into Trump’s business dealings with Weisselberg’s help.
Weisselberg’s Ex Daughter-In-Law Played A Big Part In The Investigation
When the federal investigation into Michael Cohen‘s allegations that the Trump Organization had paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $35,000 of hush money ended, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. turned a state-level investigation to Weisselberg. Weisselberg’s two sons, Barry and Jack, have both had professional connections to the Trump Organization. Barry was a manager for the Central Park carrousel and Wollman ice skating rink, which the Trump Organization ran, and Jack was employed at Ladder Capital, a lender for the Trump Organization. Barry’s ex-wife Jennifer told investigators that Trump had allegedly given the couple an apartment, which Barry claimed was “corporate property,” according to The New Yorker. The apartment can be used against Weisselberg if he failed to report it on his taxes.
Jennifer told The New Yorker that the fringe benefits are a business strategy. “They pay you with apartments and other stuff, as a control tactic, so you can’t leave. They own you! You have to do whatever corrupt crap they ask,” she said. Cohen also told The New Yorker that he thinks Weisselberg would cooperate in an investigation to keep his sons and himself out of prison.
Weisselberg Has Been Caught Up In Other Trump Troubles
The fringe benefits charges aren’t the first time that Weisselberg has been roped into investigations regarding Trump’s shady business dealings. The CFO was deposed during a 2018 New York civil suit filed against the Trump Foundation for “illegal conduct.” Weisselberg was listed as the treasurer and a board member for the Trump Foundation. When asked, he said he “did not” know that he’d been listed as a board member for the charity for over ten years, according to The Washington Post.
Weisselberg was also named in a lawsuit filed against Trump University. Court documents reveal that Weisselberg was one of the signatories on checks for the phony university, alongside Trump and three of the former president’s children.
Weisselberg Is Trump’s Go-To Person To Handle His Money
It should come as no surprise that Trump trusts his CFO with his money. Weisselberg was a co-trustee listed on the former president’s trust before he was inaugurated in 2017 alongside his son, Donald Trump Jr. A leaked recording of a call between Michael Cohen and Trump also indicated that Weisselberg has handled “personal finances” for Trump, including “household bills,” via The Washington Post.
After investigations into hush money paid by the Trump Organization were launched, the company’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, denied that Cohen would discuss payments with Weisselberg prior to Trump. “Mr. Weisselberg is a bookkeeper who simply carries out directions from others about monetary payments and transfers. There would be no reason for Mr. Cohen to have any conversation with Mr. Weisselberg prior to him recommending and obtaining approval for the purchase he was suggesting,” he told The Washington Post.