Former Trump Organization CFO Sentenced To Five Months In Jail | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ben Zeisloft.

    Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in jail on Tuesday after pleading guilty to various felony charges.

    The 75-year-old longtime lieutenant of former President Donald Trump is expected to immediately begin his sentence at Rikers Island in New York City following court proceedings on Tuesday, according to a report from CNN. He struck a deal with prosecutors last year in which he would plead guilty to 15 felonies, testify against the Trump Organization, pay $2 million in various back taxes and penalties, and waive any rights to appeal.

    Weisselberg admitted to receiving bonuses and perks from 2005 to 2017 alongside other executives, ultimately saving money for themselves and the firm, according to a report from Reuters. New York County Supreme Court Acting Justice Juan Merchan convicted the Trump Organization last month on all counts the luxury real estate company faced.

    Prosecutors claimed Trump and his company were complicit in the years-long tax evasion scheme involving multiple top executives. Weisselberg, who remains on paid leave, testified that the former commander-in-chief was not involved with the fraudulent behavior even as he signed bonus and tuition checks. Trump recently announced a third bid for the White House.

    Trump characterized the conviction of his firm as part of a politically motivated witch hunt and promised to appeal the decision. Two entities of the Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation, were represented in the case by separate legal teams. Both were convicted on all counts.

    Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass contended on behalf of the prosecution that the Trump Organization "cultivated a culture of fraud and deception." He showed jurors a lease signed by former President Trump for Weisselberg's apartment that was covered by the company. Steinglass also produced a company memo with Trump's initials that authorized pay cuts for executives that received non-monetary gifts.

    "It's not that the folks at the Trump Organization didn't know what they were doing was illegal," Steinglass said. "It was that they didn't care."

    The sentencing of Weisselberg comes two weeks after the House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines to release Trump's tax returns following a lengthy legal battle to keep the documents sealed. The documents, redacted to omit information such as Social Security numbers, cover the years 2015 to 2020 and include both individual and business filings.

    "A president is no ordinary taxpayer. They hold power and influence unlike any other American. And with great power comes even greater responsibility," former Ways And Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said in a press release. "Our work has always been to ensure our tax laws are administered fairly and without preference, because at times, even the power of a president can loom too large."

    Trump likewise said that efforts to publicize his tax records was politically motivated. Presidential candidates usually publicize their tax returns even though the move is not required by law.

    "The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it's going to lead to horrible things for so many people," he said in a statement. "The 'Trump' tax returns once again show how proudly successful I have been and how I have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises."

    Tim Pearce contributed to this report.
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