Trumps had role in fraud scheme, Allen Weisselberg testifies at company's trial - CBS News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  2 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   Graham Kates (CBSNews)

Trumps had role in fraud scheme, Allen Weisselberg testifies at company's trial - CBS News
Private school tuition checks signed by Donald Trump and two of his sons figured into improper salary reductions, Allen Weisselberg said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


By Graham Kates

Updated on: November 17, 2022 / 1:49 PM / CBS News

Breaking down the multiple investigations into former President Trump

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg testified in court Thursday, describing how Donald Trump and two of his children allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud tax authorities.

Weisselberg said Donald Trump, or at times Eric Trump or Donald Trump Jr., signed checks to pay up to $100,000 for private school tuition for Weisselberg's grandchildren. Weisselberg said he then instructed the company's controller to deduct the $100,000 from his salary, allowing him to report a smaller income. Copies of some of the checks signed by the Trumps have been shown in court.

Weisselberg said the first time Trump signed a tuition check, Weisselberg told him, "Don't forget, I'm going to pay you back for this." The payback, he said, was the salary reduction.

Two Trump Organization entities and Weisselberg are accused of more than a dozen counts of fraud and tax evasion. Weisselberg entered a guilty plea in August, admitting to charges filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office accusing him of receiving more than $1.7 million in untaxed compensation.

Weisselberg, who is still on the Trump Organization's payroll, has over the first two days of testimony described a litany of benefits he and several other executives received for which he said their salaries were similarly reduced to avoid paying taxes.

He said for himself and several other executives, the salary reductions were then mitigated by hefty bonus checks paid to the executives as if they were independent contractors for Trump Organization entities.

"Donald Trump always wanted to sign the bonus checks" before he became president in 2017, Weisselberg said.

That practice ceased during the next two years after an internal review led to changes at the company, he said.

"We were going through a company-wide cleanup process, making sure that since Mr. Trump was now president, everything was being done properly," Weisselberg said.

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg testifies at the company's trial on fraud charges in New York. Jane Rosenberg

Defense attorney Alan Futerfas later asked Weisselberg, "(Trump) didn't authorize you to commit tax fraud did he?"

"Of course not," Weisselberg replied.

Weisselberg said the funds delivered as independent contractor payments were used to set up Keogh retirement plans, tax-deferred pension accounts designed for people who are self-employed.

Defense attorneys for the Trump Organization have said the company did nothing wrong, and laid the scheme squarely at Weisselberg's feet, saying he hid the salary reductions and independent contractor payments from the Trumps.

Futerfas asked Weisselberg, "What human being did you scheme with?"

Weisselberg replied, "Jeff McConney," referring to the company's controller, who previously testified during the trial. McConney was granted immunity in exchange for grand jury testimony in the case, and blamed Weisselberg for the scheme.

Futerfas continued with questions seeking to differentiate the Trumps from the executives who worked beneath them.

"Did you conspire with any member of the Trump family?" Futerfas asked.

"No," Weisselberg replied.

"Did you scheme with Jeff McConney?" Futerfas asked.

"Yes," Weisselberg replied.

"Did you scheme with any member of the Trump family?" Futerfas asked.

"No," Weisselberg replied.

Later, Futerfas asked, "Aside from family members, you were among the most trusted people they knew. Is that right?"

"Correct," Weisselberg replied.

Soon after, Futerfas asked, "Are you embarrassed about what you did?"

Choking up, Weisselberg replied, "More than you can imagine."

Earlier Thursday, Weisselberg said under questioning by a prosecutor that other executives at the company were active participants in, and beneficiaries of, similar salary and bonus arrangements.

Weisselberg described arranging for his son Barry's family to live in a newly-renovated apartment on New York's tony Central Park South. He said the location was convenient for Barry Weisselberg's job as manager of an ice rink and carousel run by the Trump Organization in Central Park. Allen Weisselberg said his son paid $500 out of pocket and $500 from his salary per month to rent the apartment, which he described as a "below market" rate.

At the time, Allen Weisselberg and his wife lived in an $8,200 per month company-owned apartment under a lease agreement signed by Donald Trump himself.

Allen Weisselberg said he provided his son's tax paperwork for preparation to the outside accountant who was in charge of the entire Trump Organization's annual tax account. Allen Weisselberg said his son's reported salary at the time "was probably lower than it should have been."

Peter Stambleck, an attorney for Barry Weisselberg, declined to comment.

Graham Kates

Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBS News Digital. Contact Graham at KatesG@cbsnews.com or grahamkates@protonmail.com


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    2 weeks ago

I know I know, "But, what about Hunter Biden?"

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

Lol.  You obsess about private school checks written by a former President and think the current President's ties to China are somehow off limits.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1    2 weeks ago

No, tax fraud and tax evasion are crimes.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @1.1.1    2 weeks ago
ax fraud and tax evasion are crime

They sure are. Biden's in trouble. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

Biden's taxes are public so if he engaged in tax fraud you'd have him, but he didn't.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 weeks ago

I'm shocked, just shocked. /s

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3  TᵢG    2 weeks ago

Meh, add it to the list of myriad minor schemes of the Trump organization.

What is profoundly more important is to deal with Trump's actions during the Big Lie and his taking of TS/SCI documents.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  TᵢG @3    2 weeks ago
 his taking of TS/SCI documents.

Whatever happened to those nuclear secrets he supposedly took?

 
 
 
GregTx
Junior Participates
3.1.1  GregTx  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1    2 weeks ago

You just wait, I'm sure we'll start hearing about all that in the beginning of 2024 with some lead offs in the tail of 2023. Probably some fluff in there somewhere  that will tie it to DeSantis as well....

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1    2 weeks ago

Where did you get a definitive list of the contents of the TS/SCI documents?

If you are simply asking me about speculation, ask someone who engages in conspiracy theories.

So what drives you to defend Trump?

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4  Ender    2 weeks ago

So basically he is saying he did all this on his lonesome and nobody that is named trump knew what was going on.

Either the trumps are so incompetent that they have no idea about their own companies finances or this guy is a lying POS.

 
 

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