Trump Organization CFO due in criminal court on tax evasion

Kevin C. Downs/The New York Post/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

(NEW YORK)  — Allen Weisselberg, for decades the chief financial officer of former President Donald Trump’s namesake family business, is due in a New York court Friday for a hearing in his criminal case.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office charged Weisselberg and the Trump Organization last summer with tax fraud after they were accused of compensating employees “off the books” in order to pay less in taxes. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty.

According to the charging documents, Weisselberg avoided taxes on more than $1.7 million in the past 15 years, resulting from the payment of his rent on an apartment in a Trump-owned building and related expenses that prosecutors said included cars and private school tuition for his grandchildren.

The court hearing is a capstone on an extraordinary week for Trump that began with an FBI search of his Florida residence and included a deposition as part of a civil investigation by the New York Attorney general’s office.

Trump has not been charged in the Manhattan DA case but the ongoing criminal investigation, which parallels the New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil case, may have factored into his decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during Wednesday’s deposition.

The hearing for Weisselberg is expected to be largely procedural but could include the setting of a trial date, which is expected sometime in October.

Weisselberg recently switched up his legal team, adding Nick Gravante, who represented two other Trump Org employees that avoided charges in the Manhattan DA’s probe.

“If there was a deal to be reached in this case, there has been plenty of time to do it,” Mr. Gravante said. “My mission now is to lead this trial team and win, and that’s what I intend to do.”

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