As Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg helped save the former president’s real estate empire from its ultimate existential threat, saving it from bankruptcy following casino bankruptcies and an airline failure in the 1990s.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Now, after recently being jailed for tax fraud, Weisselberg is front and center again — set to testify in the civil trial Tuesday in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s fraud suit against Trump and his company, the Trump Organization. Are ready for.
Weisselberg, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, is expected to testify about his role in preparing Trump’s annual financial statements — including the conversations he had while finalizing the documents, which were filed with banks, insurers and others. were given to make deals and secure loans.
James’ lawsuit alleges that Weisselberg fabricated his financial statements to meet Trump’s demands, making his net worth appear inflated, and signed off on elevated appraisals for the property despite evidence to the contrary.
Trump, who attended the first three days of a non-jury trial in Manhattan last week, is not expected to return to court to hear his former chief financial officer testify. An appeals court on Friday rejected Trump’s bid to halt the lawsuit while he fights a pre-trial ruling that could strip him of Trump Tower and other properties.
Weisselberg, 76, entered a New York City jail six months ago after serving a 100-day sentence for evading taxes on $1.7 million in job perks, including a Manhattan apartment, luxury cars for him and his wife and his grandchildren’s school tuition. Have experienced mental peace since quitting.
“Over the past several months, I’m sure it’s well documented and well known that I’ve been through a lot,” Weisselberg testified in a May deposition in the civil case.
Weisselberg testified that he was having trouble sleeping, began seeing a therapist and was taking a generic form of Valium as he “tried to ease myself back into society.”
“This has been a painful and difficult time for me and my family,” Weisselberg told lawyers in the room, including James, according to a deposition transcript made public last month.
Weisselberg said, “After a long time in what I considered a very quiet occupation – a job that I had for so many years – coming to this situation has had a painful impact on my daily life and my family’s life. ” ,
Weisselberg has not given any interviews or commented publicly since his release from prison.
Trump said of his former lieutenant in a statement in April: “He was with me for a long time. He was liked. He was respected. Now, he’s been through hell and back. What happened to him is very sad.”
Jeffrey McConkey, a longtime controller of the Trump Organization, testified in a civil trial Friday that Weisselberg asked him on multiple occasions to assist him in committing tax fraud, including altering payroll records to hide allowances and paying his wife no taxes. The job involved giving a cheque. She may qualify for Social Security benefits.
McConkey said he went along with it because he feared Weisselberg would fire him if he refused.
In a pre-trial ruling last month, Judge Arthur Angoron found that Trump and other defendants, including Weisselberg, committed fraud for years by inflating the value of Trump’s assets and net worth on his financial statements.
As punishment, Angoron ordered that a court-appointed receiver take control of some Trump companies, leaving the future of Trump Tower and other prime properties in doubt. An appeals court on Friday blocked enforcement of that aspect of Angoron’s decision, at least for now.
The civil suit relates to allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsification of business records. James is demanding a $250 million fine and a ban on Trump from doing business in New York.
In his May statement, Weisselberg recalled how Trump would sometimes underline or write a question mark next to values he disagreed with, and the financial terms used to describe his properties. Used to quip about the language of descriptions.
“I can say beautiful. “He can say fantastic,” Weisselberg testified. “I can say it was lovely. He will say it is unbelievable.”
Weisselberg’s association with the Trump family dates back to 1973, when he answered a newspaper ad for a staff accountant for Trump’s real estate-developer father, Fred, who owned New York City apartment buildings. He began working for Donald Trump in 1986. In his final years, he earned $1.14 million per year in salary and bonuses.
Weisselberg’s tax fraud scandal hastened his exit from the company. According to a severance agreement signed the day before he was jailed, Weisselberg is to be paid $2 million in eight quarterly installments. That amount is close to the amount of back taxes, penalties and interest he had to pay as part of his plea agreement.
So far, Weisselberg has received $750,000 in severance, according to a calendar included in the settlement.