Weisselberg testified in the company’s criminal trial on Friday that Eric Trump gave him a $200,000 raise in 2019 even after learning that Weisselberg had been committing tax fraud by taking compensation off the books and falsifying his W2 tax filings. This was even though Eric Trump had known that Weisselberg had been committing tax fraud.
The real estate firm that bears former President Donald Trump’s name is currently being prosecuted in New York City on tax evasion charges. According to the prosecution, the corporation is said to be responsible for Weisselberg’s acts because he was a “top management agent”. He was trusted to act on behalf of the company. Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to evading over $2 million in income taxes.
Weisselberg, who is cooperating with the prosecution as part of a plea deal, stated on Friday that Eric Trump, who was running the Trump Organization. At the same time his father was president, he learned in 2017 that the company had been paying Weisselberg’s rent and other expenses and that Weisselberg had not reported the payments on his W2 form. Weisselberg is testifying for the prosecution as part of the deal he made.
Once Donald Trump was elected president of the United States that same year, according to testimony that Weisselberg had provided, the corporation immediately started “cleaning up” its financial operations.
Weisselberg claims that once the Trump Organization ceased paying his rent, his car leases, the tuition for his grandchildren, and other personal expenses, he asked for and received a $200,000 raise to replace the costs. The prosecution argued that the firm approved of Weisselberg’s criminal behaviour.
Did the corporation continue to pay you a total of 1.14 million dollars after you were charged with 15 felonies in this case in July 2021? Susan Hoffinger, the prosecutor, enquired. The response from Weisselberg was “Correct.”
“I would say yes,” answered Weisselberg.
“And he has not kicked you to the curb?” Necheles asked.
“He has not,” Weisselberg answered.
Weisselberg has testified that he repaid the Trump Organization for the favours he was granted by asking the business controller, Jeff McConney, to lower his salary and bonus by the same amount that he had been granted in the form of benefits.
Hoffinger, on the other hand, brought to Weisselberg’s attention the benefits that “accrued as a result of the method in which you operated the tax scheme,” referring to how the Trump Organization benefited from the way the tax scheme was handled.
Weisselberg stated that the company “would save the payroll taxes” due to the reduction in his salary that he had made to account for the amount of the fringe perks that he had been paid in cash.
On the other hand, the defence attempted to downplay the significance of the cost reductions by pointing out that the corporation spent more than $2.5 million on telephone services and more than $53,000 on flowers over the course of eight years.
If Weisselberg does not testify truthfully, he will be in violation of the terms of his plea agreement and will be subject to a punishment of five months in prison; alternatively, he faces the possibility of being sentenced to anywhere from five to fifteen years behind bars.
“You have to make these people happy,” defence attorney Alan Futerfas said while gesturing toward the prosecutors. “I have to tell the truth,” Weisselberg responded.