Ex-Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg will swap the high life for Rikers Island after his conviction Tuesday for evading taxes on $1.7 million in company benefits, in a case that a Manhattan judge said was ” driven simply by greed”.
Weisselberg, 75 — who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges in August and testified against the Trump Organization at its trial — is expected to serve just 100 days of a five-month prison sentence handed down in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon. .
The former executive, dressed casually in an olive green North Face fleece over a white T-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers, was led away in handcuffs shortly after learning his fate.
He will be housed in the North Infirmary Command of the infamous prison complex, which has been home to inmates such as rappers Tupac Shakur and Lil Wayne as well as disgraced former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, The Post has learned.
The unit has historically been used to house high-profile or particularly notorious prisoners, as well as prisoners with disabilities. Weisselberg could be released after three months of good behavior, and then serve five years of probation.
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg arrived in court in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon to be sentenced to five months in Rikers Island for tax evasion. Gregory P. Mango Weisselberg would serve 100 days in the city’s notorious jail if he shows good behavior. Gregory P Mango
The admitted tax cheat was prepared for his new life behind bars by Craig Rothheld, a consultant and founder of prison consultancy firm Inside Outside Ltd. earlier.
Lawyers for Weisselberg – who wore a surgical mask during the hearing and appeared to have had his hair cut before being sent to the can – asked for a lighter sentence.
But judge Juan Manuel Merchan dismissed the request, saying Weisselberg’s misdeeds were “purely motivated by greed, pure and simple.”
“At a time when so many Americans are working so hard in hopes of one day receiving Social Security, your client found a way to give his wife a $6,000 payroll payment so that she could could contribute to Social Security so that she could one day receive benefits to which she was not entitled,” Merchan chided defense attorney Nicholas Gravante.
Gravante had argued that Weisselberg’s advanced age and public embarrassment should be factored into his client’s request for leniency.
“Every month makes a big difference when you’re 75,” Gravante said. “He has already been extremely punished for the shame he has brought not only on himself, but on his wife, two sons and four grandchildren.”
Weisselberg became emotional when it was his turn to address the court, his voice cracking as he spoke.
“I think the words expressed by Mr. Gravante expressed my thoughts and feelings. It’s been difficult,” Weisselberg said, as he tried in vain to get Merchan to commute his sentence.
Weisselberg was then handcuffed and taken to Rikers. The sentence was foreordained when the former senior adviser at former President Donald Trump’s real estate company agreed to recant his longtime employer.
Weisselberg testified against the Trump Organization at his trial. Steven Hirsch Weisselberg pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges in August. Steven Hirsch
The prosecution’s star witness had admitted to accepting more than $1.7 million in “off-the-books” compensation from the company. Curtis Means/POOL Trump Former CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to 5 months in prison. Curtis Tools / POOL
Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said she was satisfied with Weisselberg’s “truthful testimony” against his former company and told the court on Tuesday that he had “fulfilled the terms of his plea agreement”.
His emphatic appearance on the witness stand at the Org Body’s fall trial helped convict the company of 17 criminal charges, including tax fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy and related crimes. The company was set to be sentenced on Friday.
The prosecution’s star witness had admitted to accepting more than $1.7 million in “cheap” compensation from the company to avoid taxes and pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax evasion.
Weisselberg was found to have accepted free untaxed perks such as a rent-free Manhattan apartment, lavish babysitting and tuition payments for his grandchildren in lieu of taxable income.
The Trump Organization was found guilty of helping other top executives avoid taxes. Curtis Means/Pool Weisselberg’s testimony at the fall Trump Org trial helped convict the company of 17 criminal charges. Curtis Means/Pool
A jury found that the wrongdoing was widespread throughout the Trump Organization, which was found guilty of helping other top executives oust Uncle Sam.
Defense lawyers had argued unsuccessfully that Weisselberg had acted alone in evading taxes.
Trump, 76, had called the investigation a “political witch hunt” led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is reportedly investigating him over 2016 hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels that led to his campaign finance conviction. longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen.
A jury found that the wrongdoing was widespread throughout the Trump Organization.AFP via Getty Images
The former president — who is also being investigated by Albany officials for allegedly inflating the value of his company’s assets to get favorable loans and tax breaks — was not implicated in either Weisselberg’s or his company’s convictions.
Bragg, who sat in the back of the courtroom during Weisselberg’s hearing, announced the sentence in a statement citing the former president.
“In Manhattan, you have to play by the rules, no matter who you are or who you work for,” the statement said.
“These back-to-back felony convictions fully expose the inner workings of former President Trump’s companies and the actions of his CFO,” he added, referring to Weisselberg and Trump and two entities controlled by the Trump Organization.
Trump is also being investigated by the feds in connection with his role in the January 6 riots and a trove of classified documents found at his Florida resort last year.
By postal wire