Weisselberg Pleads Guilty to All 15 Charges, Admits to Full Wrongdoing and Implicates the Trump Organization in Criminal Conduct
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg, Jr. today announced the guilty plea of ALLEN WEISSELBERG, 75, the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization and an employee of the Trump Corporation – for devising and operating a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities, evading payment of taxes due on $1.76 million in unreported income.
WEISSELBERG pleaded guilty to all 15 charges contained in the indictment filed in New York State Supreme Court. In his plea allocution in Court, WEISSELBERG admitted that he engaged in the scheme to defraud together with his co-defendants, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corp. (“the Trump Organization”), specifically implicating the Trump Organization in the criminal charges. During the scheme up until 2017, former President Donald J. Trump was President and owner of the Trump Organization.
The Court promised WEISSELBERG a sentence of five months in jail to be served on Rikers Island and five years’ probation, contingent on WEISSELBERG testifying truthfully in the upcoming criminal trial of the Trump Organization by providing truthful testimony as to the facts underlying his allocution and plea. Jury selection in the Trump Organization trial is scheduled to begin October 24th.
Prior to sentencing, WEISSELBERG must also make full repayment of taxes, penalties and interest due to the New York City and New York State tax authorities totaling $1,994,321.
Should WEISSELBERG fail to abide by the conditions of his plea, the People will recommend state prison time.
WEISSELBERG pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree; three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree; one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree; one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree; one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree; four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree; and four counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.
“Today Allen Weisselberg admitted in Court that he used his position at the Trump Organization to bilk taxpayers and enrich himself,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Instead of paying his fair share like everyone else, Weisselberg had the Trump Organization provide him with a rent-free apartment, expensive cars, private school tuition for his grandchildren and new furniture – all without paying required taxes. This plea agreement 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. Furthermore, thanks to the incredibly hard work and dedication of the team prosecuting this case, Weisselberg will spend time behind bars. We look forward to proving our case in court against the Trump Organization.”
As admitted by the defendant in his plea allocution in court, from 2005 to June 30, 2021, in his role as the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, and together with the Trump Organization, WEISSELBERG engaged in a scheme to defraud federal, state and city tax authorities to enrich himself and other Trump Organization employees.
WEISSELBERG and other Trump Organization employees were compensated in a manner so that substantial portions of their income were intentionally unreported or misreported by the Trump Organization to the taxing authorities, in order to pay less in taxes.
Furthermore, WEISSELBERG admitted the scheme involved the failure of the Trump Organization to withhold income taxes on wages, salaries, bonuses and other forms of compensation paid to WEISSELBERG and other company employees. WEISSELBERG also admitted the scheme allowed the Trump Organization to evade the payment of payroll taxes the company was required to pay in connection with employee compensation.
Through this concerted effort, WEISSELBERG received his compensation in ways that enabled the corporate defendants to avoid reporting it to tax authorities. WEISSELBERG then concealed the compensation from his tax preparer Donald Bender and intentionally omitted it from his tax returns.
As a result, WEISSELBERG evaded paying taxes on a total of $1.76 million in unreported income that the Trump Organization paid him in the form of benefits including – as stated in WEISSELBERG’S plea allocution – paying for his rent on an apartment on Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan, utilities and garage privileges related to the apartment, multiple Mercedes Benz automobiles, private school tuition for his grandchildren, unreported cash and furnishings for his apartment and home in Florida.
None of these payments were reported as taxable income to local, state or federal tax authorities as required by law.
WEISSELBERG also admitted that the scheme involved the Trump Organization improperly paying substantial amounts of bonuses to certain Trump Organization employees, including WEISSELBERG, categorized as non-employee compensation reported on IRS 1099 forms. WEISSELBERG – who was in fact not a self-employed individual but an employee of the Trump Organization – was then able to falsely claim business deductions and make annual contributions to a “Keogh” tax-deferred pension plan for self-employed individuals.
D.A. Bragg thanked New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the investigators from the Attorney General’s office assigned to the case, for their continued partnership and collaboration. D.A. Bragg also thanked the New York City Department of Finance and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance.
The investigation concerning former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization is ongoing.
Chief of the Investigation Division Susan Hoffinger, Senior Trial Counsel Joshua Steinglass, Assistant D.A.s Solomon Shinerock, Imran Ahmed, Gary Fishman, Gregory Morril, Elyssa Abuhoff, and Caroline Williamson and Senior Advisor to the Investigation Division Chris Conroy are handling the prosecution of this case. Gary Fishman and Gregory Morril prosecutors in the New York Attorney General’s Office who have been cross-designated for this case.
New York, New York
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a class D felony, three counts
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree; a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony four counts
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, four counts