Former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 charges of grand larceny and tax fraud Thursday, CNN reported.
Weisselberg was accused of avoiding tax payments on $1.7 million worth of income, much of which was in the form of business perks such as cars, rent, and private school tuition for his grandchildren.
In exchange for a lowered sentence, Weisselberg promised to testify against his former employer, the Trump Organization.
Under state law in New York, Weisselberg’s plethora of charges could have carried up to a 15-year jail sentence. However, with his agreement to testify against the Trump Organization, Weisselberg is likely to spend only five months in prison, possibly only 100 days with “good behavior.”
As part of the plea deal, he is required to pay $1.9 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties and must waive the right to appeal the case.
Weisselberg, 75, served under the Trump Organization for nearly 40 years as chief financial officer. In July, New York prosecutors charged the Trump Organization and Weisselberg with an alleged 15-year-long tax scheme involving falsifying business records, tax fraud, and conspiracy.
Former President Donald Trump was not involved in Thursday’s prosecution of Weisselberg but will face prosecutors at the trial in October.
Weisselberg’s deal “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,” alleged Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Weisselberg’s testimony could and is seemingly designed to give prosecutors more ammunition against the Trump Organization, which they believe reported false valuations of property along with alleged fraud.
The Trump Organization defended Weisselberg as he accepted the plea deal, saying that he had been “threatened by law enforcement” during the District Attorney’s “politically motivated quest to get President Trump.”
The company also claimed that the charges were blown out of proportion and that some of the items Weisselberg avoided paying taxes on were things such as company cars, an executive perk.