The chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to tax violations Thursday in a deal that would require him to testify about illicit business practices at the Trump Organization, The Associated Press reports. Weisselberg is charged with accepting more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the former president’s company over several years, including untaxed perks like rent, car payments and school tuition. The plea deal would require Weisselberg to speak in court about the company’s role in the alleged compensation arrangement and possibly serve as a witness when the Trump Organization goes on trial in October on related criminal charges.
Weisselberg, 75, is likely to receive a sentence of five months in jail, to be served at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island complex, and he could be required to pay about $2 million in restitution, including taxes, penalties and interest. If that punishment holds, Weisselberg would be eligible for release after about 100 days. Weisselberg is the only person to face criminal charges so far in the Manhattan district attorney’s long-running investigation of the company’s business practices. Seen as one of Trump’s most loyal business associates, Weisselberg was arrested in July 2021. His lawyers have argued the Democrat-led district attorney’s office is punishing him because he wouldn’t offer information that would damage Trump.