Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months for his role in Trump Organization tax fraud
Updated January 10, 2023 at 3:06 PM ET
Allen Weisselberg, the decades-long chief financial officer at former President Donald Trump's family business, was sentenced Tuesday to five months behind bars for financial crimes he committed while working as a top executive there.
He also will serve five years' probation and pay some $2 million in penalties and back taxes.
Weisselberg, 75, pleaded guilty to 15 counts in August, including grand larceny tax fraud and falsifying business records. That paved the way for his testimony at the tax fraud trial of two of the Trump Organization's business entities: the Trump Corporation (which encompasses most of Trump's business empire) and the Trump Payroll Corporation (which processes payments to staff).
"In Manhattan, you have to play by the rules no matter who you are or who you work for, " Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. "Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg used his high-level position to secure lavish work perks such as a rent-free luxury Manhattan apartment, multiple Mercedes Benz automobiles and private school tuition for his grandchildren – all without paying required taxes."
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Weisselberg agreed to testify in exchange for a lighter sentence. The Trump businesses were found guilty in December and will be sentenced at the end of this week.
During that testimony, Weisselberg showed little emotion as he detailed an array of schemes to avoid paying taxes. For example, he admitted arranging for himself and other executives to be improperly paid as freelancers, which allowed them to open tax-advantaged retirement accounts. The arrangement also wrongly benefited the Trump business, saving it money on Medicare taxes.
Weisselberg had worked in Trump Tower since 1986 and had an office just a short walk from Trump's office. On the stand, he described how Trump signed and handed out bonus checks to employees as if they were independent contractors. Trump was never charged in the scheme, but Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has said the former president remains under investigation.
Even after admitting his guilt, Weisselberg has remained on paid leave with the Trump Organization.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.