Trump’s Top Financial Executive Charged With Tax Crimes
NEW YORK — On Thursday New York prosecutors released a 15-count indictment sheet charging the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with the crime of “scheme to defraud in the first degree.” The New York Times summarized that Weisselberg is accused of concealing $1.7 million of taxable income by not declaring “fringe benefits.”
The largest of these benefits listed in the court document is an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York Attorney General allege that the Trump Organization paid rent and related expenses of $1.17 million on an apartment without declaring it as income to tax authorities.
In addition, the document alleges the company paid $196,245 towards lease payments on Mercedes Benz cars for Weisselberg and his wife, plus $359,058 in tuition fees for Weisselberg family members and “ad hoc personal expenses” to Weisselberg, going towards new beds, flat-screen televisions, carpet installation and furniture for Weisselberg’s home in Florida.
In total, it is alleged that Weisselberg evaded $556,385 in federal taxes, $106,568 in state taxes and $238,159 in New York City taxes through the scheme. He also claimed $94,902 in federal tax refunds and $38,222 in state tax refunds to which he wasn’t entitled.
He has pleaded not guilty.
SOURCES: Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Supreme Court of the State of New York indictment sheet, Trump Organization press statement