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Ex-Trump Org. CFO Weisselberg expected to plead guilty, cooperate against company in tax case

Ex-Trump Org. CFO Weisselberg expected to plead guilty, cooperate against company in tax case

WASHINGTON — Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization chief financial officer, pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple tax fraud charges in a case involving the company’s business dealings.

Weisselberg, 75, agreed to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, interest, and penalties and serve five months in jail on Rikers Island followed by five years of probation, the judge said.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were charged in June 2021 in what prosecutors described as an “off the books” scheme over 15 years to help top officials in the Trump Organization avoid paying taxes. Weisselberg was accused of avoiding paying taxes on $1.7 million of his income.

In court on Thursday, Weisselberg said he understood that he could face up to 15 years in prison if he doesn’t pay back the taxes or doesn’t testify truthfully at the trial of the Trump Organization this fall. 

His attorney, Nicholas Gravante, Jr., said in a statement that Weisselberg pleaded guilty “to put an end to this case and the years-long legal and personal nightmares it has caused for him and his family. Rather than risk the possibility of 15 years in prison, he has agreed to serve 100 days. We are glad to have this behind him.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Wednesday that Weisselberg used his position at the company “to bilk taxpayers and enrich himself.”

“Instead of paying his fair share like everyone else, Weisselberg had the Trump Organization provide him with a rent-free apartment, expensive cars, private school tuition for his grandchildren and new furniture — all without paying required taxes,” Bragg said. “This plea agreement directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity and requires Weisselberg to provide invaluable testimony in the upcoming trial against the corporation.”

The Trump Organization faces separate charges, but there is no allegation of criminal wrongdoing against Trump, who has faced long-simmering criminal investigations on multiple fronts that have captured national attention since the FBI’s search of his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, last week. There has been no indication that Weisselberg will cooperate in any investigation into Trump personally. 

Bragg said Wednesday that the investigation into Trump and the company is ongoing.

Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

Rebecca Shabad is a politics reporter for NBC News based in Washington.

Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss is a reporter and producer for NBC and MSNBC.

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