Thursday 18 August 2022 01:43 PM Longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg will plead guilty to 15 ... trends now
Former President Donald Trump's longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg is expected to stand before a New York judge and admit to 15 felony crimes Thursday, after reaching an extraordinary plea deal that would sentence him to five months in prison but have him serve just 100 days.
The plea, first reported Wednesday night, would not require Weisselberg to testify against his longtime boss, whose father Fred Trump first brought him into the company that would propel Donald Trump to the White House.
But it would require him to testify about a litany of 'off the books' business practices, tax and financial crimes.
A judge is expected to sentence him to five months in prison. But with time off for good behavior, sources say he is likely to serve as little as 100 days in prison.
The New York Times reported details of his plea deal Wednesday
The former exec, who helped run the Trump Organization while Trump was in the White House along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., will have to admit to all 15 felonies he was charged with and will have to testify about his role in a scheme to avoid paying taxes on lavish corporate perks.
That testimony will make Weisselberg a central witness in the October trial of the Trump Organization, where it will face many of the same charges.
He is not expected to implicate the former president nor any Trump family members in his testimony.
But the acknowledgment from one of the Trump Organization’s top executives that he committed the crimes will undercut any effort by the company’s lawyers to argue that no crime was committed.
Law enforcement personnel escort the Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, as he departs court, Friday, August 12, 2022, in New York
Donald Trump with Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg at a news conference at Trump Tower in May 2016
The New York Daily News reported a much stiffer sentence as part of the deal, with the longtime exec expected to spend up to five months in prison at Rikers Island.
Several sources close to the investigation said they expected the Trump Organization to come out firing. ‘They are fully ramped up for trial and expect to fight this all the way through,’ said one, who confirmed that Weisselberg had agreed to plead guilty to 15 felony charges and could see his potential jail time cut to 100 days.
A source familiar with former President Trump's thinking said Weisselberg had long been viewed as a member of the family
‘They broke him in their effort to get Trump and he just wanted this over,’ they said. 'Everyone thinks he is a good man.'
The guilty plea is just the latest event to undercut Trump's campaign statement that 'surround[s] myself only with the best and most serious people.'
Prosecutors are expected to use Weisselberg's testimony as a springboard to broader claims against the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg, 75, is the only Trump executive charged in the years-long criminal investigation started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who went to the Supreme Court to secure Trump's tax records.
Vance's successor, Alvin Bragg, is now overseeing the investigation. Several other Trump executives have been granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in the case.
Weisselberg began working for Trump's father, Fred Trump, in 1973.
He climbed the ranks at the Trump Organization in the decades that followed. By the late 1980s, he was controller of the company and, in 2000, was named chief financial officer and vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. He also was a board member and treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
He has also handled the household expenses of the Trump family.
On January 11, 2017, shortly before Trump's inauguration as president of the United States, the Trump Organization announced that Weisselberg would manage the company along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during Trump's presidency.
That stewardship came despite public pressure at the time for Trump to completely divest from the company at a time when he was running the country.
Weisselberg has unsurpassed knowledge of the inner financial workings of the Trump Organization and was under heavy pressure from prosecutors to cooperate in their investigation.
Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization schemed to give off-the-books