Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison after pleading guilty to failing to declare and pay taxes on more than $1.7 million in company benefits provided by the former president’s flagship company. Weisselberg’s cooperation with prosecutors was central to securing a conviction linking the Trump Organization to the alleged large scale tax fraud operation.
The sentence comes in accordance with Weisselberg’s guilty plea. He’ll also have to serve five months probation and pay $2 million in taxes and penalties.
Weisselberg, who worked for the Trump Organization for almost half a century, pleaded guilty to a 15-count indictment in August. Accused of failing to pay dues on apartments, parking, vacations, and other perks provided by the Trump Organization, prosecutors alleged that the cohort had engaged in an “sweeping and audacious illegal payment scheme.”
Weisselberg testified that Trump had personally authorized some of the benefits, including the company’s payment of his rent, and his grandchildren’s private school tuition.
The Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to charges in the indictment — which also named the Trump Payroll Corporation, and the Trump Corporation — but were convicted in December. Trump himself was accused by prosecutors of “explicitly sanctioning tax fraud” by approving a salary reduction for Trump Organization Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari, which Calamari would be compensated for via under-the-table, unreported benefits. Similar arrangements were made between the organization, Weisselberg, and other executives.
While Trump and members of his family were not directly named in the indictment, New York Attorney General Letitia James in September sued Trump and his children Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric Trump, alleging civil fraud. The AG claimed the Trump family made “over 200” false valuations of assets over a period of 10 years, and said she would make referrals to the Internal Revenue Service and the Southern District of New York regarding the possibility of federal charges. Prosecutors in the suit are seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump and his family from conducting business in the state of New York.