The Trump Organization's chief financial officer testified in that company's fraud trial

The Trump Organization chief financial officer testified in that company fraud trial
The Trump Organization chief financial officer testified in that company fraud trial
Khushbu Kumari

Former Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to all charges against him for tax evasion

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg testified Tuesday that he knew he should have paid taxes on the hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits he received annually, including a company-paid Manhattan apartment he said former President Donald Trump suggested that she move, according to CNN.

Weisselberg testified in the Trump Organization criminal tax fraud trial in Manhattan, guiding the jury through the growth of the 50-employee company from its start in 1986 to a corporation that includes 500 entities.

One such tax-free perk Weisselberg received was a $7,000-per-month luxury apartment overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan.

The former CFO said Trump offered him the apartment in 2005 to cut down on his daily commute to Long Island, where he lived at the time. Weisselberg said that after speaking with his wife, they agreed to move and Trump authorized the spending.

He also said his utility, phone, car lease and garage expenses were "an integral part" of the apartment. In all, he received up to $200,000 in tax-free compensation in one year for all those benefits, according to his testimony. And that Donald Trump or himself signed the checks.

Weisselberg testified that if he had asked for a raise, the company would have had to pay him twice as much, up to $400,000, to cover taxes.

In all, Weisselberg said he did not pay taxes on about $1.76 million in personal expenses from 2005 through 2017.

And he acknowledged that he knowingly failed to report his income on his tax forms to get the extra tax-free benefits and withheld that information from Mazars accountants, because he thought they would refuse to sign his tax returns if they had known. .

Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney knew the practice was illegal when he generated the fake W-2 and 1099 tax forms on Weisselberg's behalf, according to Weisselberg.

McConney earlier claimed on the stand that he did not believe all of the spending was mishandled until an internal review took place years later.

Weisselberg also acknowledged Tuesday that he was stripped of the title of chief financial officer after being arrested and charged with 15 counts of tax fraud and grand theft.

Weisselberg said he is on paid leave and still expects to receive a $500,000 bonus in January on top of his $640,000 salary.

Two Trump Organization entities are charged with nine counts of tax fraud, grand theft and falsifying business records in Manhattan and prosecutors allege this was a 15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation provided to employees.

Former President Donald Trump is not a defendant in the case and is not expected to be implicated in any wrongdoing.

The indictment stemmed from evidence uncovered in New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil investigation into Trump's business practices , and the Manhattan district attorney filed criminal tax fraud charges against the company and Weisselberg in July 2021.

With his change of plea, Weisselberg agreed to a five-month state prison sentence with five years probation and pay nearly $2 million in taxes owed to New York State.

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