On Thursday, New York prosecutors accused the Trump Organization (Trump Payroll Corporation) and Allen Weisselberg (its chief financial officer) of a fifteen-year alleged tax scheme that marked the primary criminal case against the namesake company of the former U.S. President. The Manhattan district attorney’s office opened an accusation and charged the corporation and an entity named Trump Payroll Corporation with ten counts and Weisselberg, 73, with fifteen felony counts in connection with a suspected scheme stretching back to 2005 to pay off Weisselberg and other Trump Organization officials in a way that was off the books.
Executives of the company charged with a scheme to criminal tax fraud, defraud, falsifying business records, and conspiracy. Furthermore, Weisselberg charged with grand theft and presenting a false instrument for filing. On Thursday, Prosecutors said that their probe is on the way. The investigation probed into whether the Trump Organization deceived investors, tax authorities, and insurers regarding the treatment of tax deductions, the worth of certain properties, and hush-money payments to silence an alleged matter with the former president.
The recent accusation mainly focused on Weisselberg, and it described a list of luxury perks Trump received from the company supposedly in lieu of compensation. According to CNN, the compensation includes a pair of Mercedes-Benz cars, an Upper West Side apartment, and private tuition for two family members (his grandchildren). Weisselberg pleaded not guilty during the brief prosecution hearing Thursday afternoon. In ten cases, the prosecutors charged him alongside two Trump corporate entities: Trump Corp., which handled executive pay, and an entity called Trump Payroll Corp. On the other side, the attorney of the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty on their behalf.
How Much Weisselberg Punishment Faced on the Allegations?
According to the sensitivity of the charges against Weisselberg, he may face a maximum sentence of five to fifteen years in prison for grand larceny in the second degree. Likewise, in the case of conviction, the Trump companies could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Furthermore, after the court hearing, Trump attorneys mocked the case as a political move from two elected Democratic leaders: New York Attorney General Letitia James and Vance. These are the initial charges to result from their investigations.
Ronald Fischetti, the attorney of Trump, stated that the District Attorney supposed to be unpolitical, but they are proceeding with this case because the political victim is Trump. Therefore, according to him, this case is groundless and is over. However, James and Vance are in the process of investigating Trump’s company since 2018, and they gather millions of pages of records, including summoning documents from an extensive array of former president’s business partners and vendors. The accusations of Thursday were deep and narrow and mainly focused on the alleged efforts of the Trump organization to avoid taxes on executive pay.
The prosecutors didn’t mention many other subjects that they previously claimed they were investigating. According to previous court documents, those topics included hush-money payments made during the presidential election of 2016, and former president misled taxing and lenders authorities about the values of his properties, as well as allegations that he didn’t pay proper taxes on a $102 million pardoned debt. Prosecutors declined to comment on skipping these topics.
Areas in Which Trump Organization subsidized Weisselberg’s Life
According to the prosecutors, the Trump Organization sponsored many areas of the life of Weisselberg:
- He apparently had the Trump organization pay the utilities and rent for an apartment where he lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (Starting in 2005).
- During twelve years from 2005 to 2017, the chief financial officer also had the Trump Organization pay to lease two Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife.
- The court document said that Weisselberg also used the funds of the Trump Organization to pay for holiday gifts, furniture, and carpeting for his Florida home.