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Ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to tax fraud

Weisselberg, 75, agreed to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, interest and penalties and serve five months in jail as part of his guilty plea.

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.

Weisselberg said in court Thursday that 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 Trump Organization’s trial 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,” Gravante said. “We are glad to have this behind him.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement 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."

New York Attorney General Letitia James weighed in Wednesday, saying in a statement that there's "zero tolerance for individuals who defraud our state and cheat our communities."

"For years, Mr. Weisselberg broke the law to line his own pockets and fund a lavish lifestyle. Today, that misconduct ends," she said. "Let this guilty plea send a loud and clear message: We will crack down on anyone who steals from the public for personal gain because no one is above the law.” 

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

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in a statement Wednesday that Weisselberg is an "honorable man who, for the past 4 years, has been harassed, persecuted and threatened by law enforcement, particularly the Manhattan District Attorney, in their never ending, politically motivated quest to get President Trump."

The spokesperson added that they "look forward to having our day in court."

Bragg said in his statement that the investigation into Trump and the company continues.