Former Trump Organization chief financial officer (CFO) Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty Thursday to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion, in a plea deal requiring him to testify against the company but not against former President Donald Trump.
Events in a federal courtroom in New York played out much as anticipated. As Breitbart News reported earlier this week:
Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump’s business empire, is expected to reach a plea deal with prosecutors in a tax fraud case that does not require him to testify against the former president.
The relatively minor allegations were anticlimactic, given the public determination of elected Democratic prosecutors to pursue Trump for whatever crime they could find. Trump himself was not accused of breaking the law, but prosecutors hoped to turn Weisselberg against Trump by pressuring him to testify against his former boss in other investigations.
That effort appears to have failed, with Weisselberg refusing to cooperate, and prosecutors reportedly considering a plea deal that could see the septuagenarian executive sentenced to as little as five months in jail, and eligible for early release after about 100 days.
CBS News added Thursday:
Weisselberg’s deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of five months in New York’s Rikers Island jail, followed by five years’ probation. He must also pay $1.9 million in back taxes and fines, and must appear as a witness during the company’s trial to testify under oath. He has not agreed to provide any new or supplemental information about Trump or the company that bears his name, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Weisselberg was accused of receiving fringe benefits such as free rent, private school tuitions, and a car without reporting them to the IRS. The value of the benefits was estimated at a total $1.7 million over a period of 15 years. The company is also accused of failing to report the benefits, though Trump himself is not implicated.
Democrats celebrated the conviction, though it failed to reach the former president.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.