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Trump Organization lawyer blames Allen Weisselberg in closing statement

New York Post
New York Post
 2022-12-01

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Longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg acted on his own — not on behalf of the former president’s company — when he raked in off-the-books benefits and evaded taxes, a lawyer for the organization told jurors Thursday.

Attorney Susan Necheles placed blame squarly on Weisselberg for prosecutors’ allegations of tax fraud at the Trump Organization in her closing argument as the trial on related charges drew to a close in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“We are here today because of one reason and one reason only: the greed of Allen Weisselberg,” Necheles told jurors. “The purpose of Mr. Weisselberg’s crimes was to benefit Mr. Weisselberg.”

She went on: “The prosecution’s case rests on one thing: trying to convince you, the jurors, that Mr. Weisselberg’s actions were done in behalf of the company.”

“They were not. They were done solely to benefit himself . And that is the critical issue in this case,” Necheles said.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office allege the Trump Organization ran a 15-year scheme to avoid paying taxes on perks it afforded top executives at the company.

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Former President Donald Trump’s company could face a $1 million fine if convicted.
AP
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The Trump Organization attorney told the jury that the former CFO’s actions were “solely to benefit himself” and not the company.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The company could face a penalty of more than $1 million if the Manhattan jury convicts it.

Weisselberg testified at the trial after pleading guilty to a host of charges for his conduct at the company, including grand larceny, tax fraud and falsifying business records.

The longtime Trump Org exec raked in off-the-books perks such as a luxury apartment, expensive cars and his grandchildren’s school tuition that were paid for by the company.

As part of his plea deal, he agreed to testify at the trial and will spend five months in prison and receive five years of probation.

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Weisselberg previously accepted a plea deal for charges including grand larceny, tax fraud and falsifying business records.
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Weisselberg will serve five months in prison and receive five years of probation.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Prosecutors are scheduled to begin their closing argument Thursday afternoon and will likely tell jurors Weisselberg’s tax evasion was tethered to the Trump Organizaiton because he was a “high managerial agent” of the company.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said the company benefited from these off-the-books perks because it didn’t have to provide Weisselberg and two other employees with bonuses and higher salaries.

“This case is about greed and cheating, cheating on taxes,” Hoffinger told jurors at the start of the trial.

“The scheme was conducted, directed and authorized at the highest levels of the accounting department at the company.”

With Post wires

Comments / 8

Sheila Walker
12-01

Trump's M O is it anybody but me , take those people away they're the true criminals, for invading by Organization and stealing from the IRS . I paid my taxes all $750, OO worth.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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RsRTraitors
12-01

Remind the lawyer that when Weisselberg testified that he said the pay practices were already being done before he moved from working for Fred Trump to the Trump organization in 1986

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Carolyn Davis
12-01

Of course he does. He would throw his own kids, wife, secret service anyone under the bus.

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