Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, could be on the verge of facing charges as prosecutors turn the heat up, hoping he’ll flip on Donald Trump himself.
The nearing of charges is the latest development as the district attorney in Manhattan tries to tighten a broader criminal case against Trump and the Trump Organization, which is looking at potential financial misconduct.
To this point, no criminal charges have been filed in the financial fraud investigation against Trump and his company.
If charges are filed against Weisslberg, however, that could hint that prosecutors have discovered misconduct that could ultimately link back to Trump.
Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, could be on the verge of facing charges as prosecutors turn the heat up, hoping he’ll flip on Donald Trump himself
If charges are filed against Weisslberg, however, that could hint that prosecutors have discovered misconduct that could ultimately link back to Donald Trump (pictured June 5)
The nearing of charges is the latest development as the district attorney in Manhattan, Cy Vance, tries to tighten a broader criminal case against Trump and the Trump Organization, which is looking at potential financial misconduct
The New York Times reports that the Manhattan DA appears to be in the last stages of their criminal tax investigation into Weisselberg.
Over the past few weeks, a grand jury has been hearing evidence about Weisselberg, with prosecutors obtaining the executive’s personal tax returns.
Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General running a civil probe, has also reportedly acquired those tax returns.
Earlier, prosecutors were also able to obtain the personal bank records of Weisselberg.
Investigators are looking at whether or not Weisselberg failed to pay taxes on benefits over the years, including apartments, leased cars and private school tuition for one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren.
To that end, prosecutors have subpoenaed records from an Upper West Side private school, the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School.
One person told the Times that Cy Vance, the Manhattan DA, is seeking records into Mercedes-Benz vehicles leased for Weisselberg and other Trump Organization employees.
They are also looking at an apartment Trump may have gifted Weisselberg in Manhattan.
Meanwhile, Weisslberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer, has been interviewed in the probe six times and is cooperating with prosecutors.
She has been asked about the tuition payments, as well gifts her ex-husband, Barry Weisselberg, received from Trump, such as leased cars and an apartment on Central Park South.
It’s not clear what charges Weisselberg may be facing, though experts suggest it could be grand larceny, scheme to defraud or tax fraud.
If Weisselberg is charged with tax fraud and failing to pay more than $10,000 in taxes for a single year, he could face up to seven years in prison.
If Weisselberg is charged with scheming to defraud, he could face a maximum of four years in prison.
Tax lawyers discussing the case with the Times, however, couldn’t recall any instances of someone facing a case based solely on a failure to pay taxes on fringe benefits.
In this Feb. 14, 2020 photo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. leaves Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial at Criminal Court, in New York. Vance, leading a criminal probe into Donald Trump’s business dealings, said Friday, March 12, 2021, he would not seek re-election
Weisselberg’s lawyer did not comment to the Times, nor did a Trump Organization representative.
While the case against Weisselberg appears to be progressing, the case against Donald Trump is not at the same stage.
Prosecutors are hoping Weisselberg will cooperate with the probe into Donald Trump.
Weisselberg is still an employee of the Trump Organization, however, suggesting that he probably has not turned star witness against Trump at this point.
Weisselberg previously worked for Donald Trump’s father and has been the chief financial officer at the Trump Organization for more than two decades.
Jeffrey McConney, an aide to Weisselberg, has already testified before a special grand jury in the probe of Trump.
He has already testified before a grand jury impaneled by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to hear evidence against Trump and his business, according to multiple reports, but insiders are confident he will not flip on his boss.
As senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization he would have prepared documents such as asset evaluations or taxes for Trump himself and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
‘Think of the Trump Organization as a small, one-teller bank,’ Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer told The Daily Beast.
Prosecutors are hoping Weisselberg (pictured) will cooperate with the probe into Trump
‘Donald would be the president. Allen would be the branch manager.
‘Jeff would be the teller. Every single transaction was booked through McConney.’
That makes him a crucial figure for an investigation reportedly probing whether the Trump Organization inflated the value of assets when it was seeking loans, but reduced them when calculating tax liabilities.
Insiders say Trump is unworried by the investigations, dismissing them more as a costly irritant than a threat to his business or political future.
And they told the Daily Beast that McConney had a reputation for loyalty and keeping his mouth shut. ‘Not a blabber,’ is how one source put it.
The result is little fear that he will turn on his boss.
‘He takes instruction well, and has followed orders faithfully and very carefully,’ another of the sources said.
Yet his understanding of the paper trail is reportedly vast.
The extent of his knowledge of Trump’s finances was revealed in depositions six years ago, when Weisselberg gave evidence about the collapse of Trump University.
Documents obtained by the New York Daily News showed that Weisselberg took care of payroll payments.
‘Jeff McConney took care of the actual movement of money,’ he said.
Donald Trump, wife Melania, with the Barry and Jennifer Weisselberg, the son and daughter n law of Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg. Jennifer has been assisting the criminal probe into the Trump Org for months
Jack, Allen and Barry Weisselberg. Weisselberg’s grandchildren (Barry’s children) attend a $50,000 a term school and prosecutors are thought to be looking into the tuition fee payments to determine if the Trump Organization broke tax laws
The Trump Organization’s process for moving large sums of money outside was for McConney to ‘prepare a memorandum that we have to move money,’ and then either Allen or Trump would approve or deny the request.
Trump described some of the process in a 2007 issue of Worth magazine, in which he praised his in-house advisers including McConney and Weisselberg
‘I listen to what they have to say, and make my own decisions in the final analysis,’ he said. ‘I know the responsibility rests with me, but I have excellent people and I respect their input.’
Vance, who is not running for reelection, is looking at potential financial crimes committed by Trump and his organization, which has included an investigation of potential property value manipulation for tax benefits and favorable loans.
Trump has called the investigation part of ‘the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country.’
Weisselberg was also connected with the investigation into alleged hush payments to two women made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Michael Cohen claimed Weisselberg was involved in those payments, which were for two women accusing Trump of having affairs with them.
In March, people familiar with the situation told the New York Times that prosecutors working for Vance subpoenaed records from several banks where Trump or his company hold accounts – including JPMorgan Chase and Capital One.
Jeff McConney (center) has testified before a Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence against former President Donald Trump and his business. McConney is senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization, giving him a key role in preparing financial documents. He is pictured here in 2011 with Donald Bender (left), the Trump Organization’s tax accountant at Mazars USA
They are also separately seeking a new round of general ledgers and other internal documents from the Trump Organization.
Jennifer Weisselberg, who was married to Allen’s son Barry from 2004 to 2018, told CNN host Chris Cuomo that her former father-in-law will flip on Trump to protect his own kids from liability.
‘I think that he’ll turn on him,’ Jennifer said of Trump’s CFO. ‘I think that his sons have too much liability.’
Jennifer told Cuomo that ‘it’s the only way’ forward for Allen as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance pursues him and Trump.
‘I think that it’s important for accountability for anyone, and for all of them. I believe that the investigations are serious and going well, and have begun to go way more rapidly,’ she said.
She added: ‘I hope that justice will be served.’
In the interview, Jennifer addressed reports that investigators were seeking information about a Trump-owned apartment she lived in with her ex-husband for years.
Jennifer has said that the Central Park South apartment was presented as a gift to her and her ex-husband by Trump after their wedding and that neither of them owned the apartment or paid rent, CBS News reported.
The couple did pay about $400 per month for utilities, and city records show Trump sold the apartment for $2.85 million in 2014.
Jennifer reiterated to Cuomo that the luxe ‘corporate apartment’ was provided by Trump Organization.
‘In that sense, it’s difficult to leave,’ she said told Cuomo about the perks.
Trump has called the investigation part of ‘the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country’ (pictured on June 5)
Jennifer said that the investigation is ‘not a witch hunt’ and is based on real numbers.
She told Cuomo that she has provided ‘personal documents’ to prosecutors from her divorce proceedings, for instance, that could detail Trump financial decisions.
Jennifer said it was ‘too sensitive’ to disclose what was in the documents in any more detail.
After speaking with Jennifer, Cuomo interviewed Tristan Snell, a former New York assistant attorney general who explained the role Allen might play in the probe.
‘Jennifer Weisselberg said it very well when she referred to the Trump Organization as a mom-and-pop organization,’ Snell said.
He continued: ‘It was a very small operation and still is to this day. These things are run with a very small group of people who had minute control over every single thing.’
Snell echoed Jennifer’s comments about the scope of the investigation, noting: ‘It’s those representations, the numerical representations, are going to be the big issue here.’
In this Jan. 11, 2017 photo, Allen Weisselberg, center, is seen between President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Donald Trump Jr., at a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower
‘A lot of it comes down to the financial records and Allen Weisselberg as very much personally the keeper of those records. It’s not just that he ran a department, he personally was actually looking at every single penny that went in and out of that company,’ Snell said.
He added: ‘If they can get Weisselberg implicated and if he’s implicated, they can get him to flip.’
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan previously struck an immunity deal with Allen Weisselberg in 2018 for his testimony about former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who himself has flipped on the former president, The New York Times reported.
Jennifer also claimed in March that Trump hit on her at a shivah and showed naked pictures of women to mourners, The New Yorker revealed.
She claimed her uncomfortable run-in with Trump happened while mourning Allen’s mother in the late 1990s, early 2000s at a shivah – the Jewish mourning period after a funeral.
She did not give a date for when she met Trump but said it was before her wedding and was at Weisselberg’s former home in Wantagh, on Long Island. Property records show he owned the property until 2001.
According to her, Trump got out of his car when he arrived at the property and said: ‘This is where my C.F.O. lives? It’s embarrassing!’
Once inside, she claims he showed around photos of naked women with him on a yacht, then started hitting on her.
‘After that, he starts hitting on me.’
She sad she was irate that Allen did not ‘stand up’ for her.
Allen’s lawyer did not comment on the alleged incident.
Weisselberg previously worked for Donald Trump’s father and has been the chief financial officer at the Trump Organization for more than two decades
He started working for The Trump Organization in the early 1970s and, according to his ex-daughter-in-law, he only ever sought approval from his boss.
‘His whole worth is ‘Does Donald like me today?’
In May, an ex-top executive predicted that Weisselberg had already turned on the former president in a bid to protect his family.
Former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res said that, in her opinion, Weisselberg has flipped and was cooperating with New York prosecutors with two criminal investigations hanging over him.
‘I think Weisselberg is very concerned about his kids,’ she told MSNBC’s Ari Melber. ‘I think that what they’re doing is the kind of thing they did with [retired Lt. Gen. Michael] Flynn. Remember his kid? I don’t think Weisselberg will let his son go to jail. So that’s what he’s doing.’
Res made it clear she had no insider info but was speaking from her experience working with Allen Weisselberg. She worked for the Trump Organization for 18 years and served as vice president in charge of construction.
‘This is my opinion. I don’t know the facts, but I do know Donald, and I have seen him operate, and I have seen the organization operate,’ she explained. ‘Weisselberg has evolved into a different person. I don’t know exactly where he’s at now, but I knew who he was. He bowed to Donald Trump.’
‘He adores Donald Trump, and Trump knows and has relied on him as trusted and he’s probably the only trusted party left other than family,’ Res said. ‘But Weisselberg will not — he will not go to jail, and he will not let his children be thrown under the bus, so to speak. Because there is no pardon coming down the road. The only thing that Trump has to offer right now is money, and I don’t know that money would pay off jail time.’
Who’s who in New York criminal probes into Trump: His longtime CFO, the ‘quiet money man’ and two Democrat AGs
New York state has opened a criminal investigation into former US president Donald Trump (pictured November 2020)
A Democratic prosecutor nearing the end of his term, a loyal lieutenant of the Trump family and a lawyer determined to sink his former boss: AFP details some of the players in New York’s criminal probe into Donald Trump.
The 66-year-old Democrat has been Manhattan District Attorney since 2010. He was the first to launch a criminal investigation into the Republican ex-president.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (pictured May 2020) has doggedly pursued Donald Trump, winning a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and deploying significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation
Vance, whose father was US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, has sometimes been accused of a reluctance to prosecute the rich and powerful.
He delayed filing charges against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein before securing a landmark conviction last year.
Vance has doggedly pursued Trump, though, first by winning a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and secondly by deploying significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation.
He has announced that he will not run for a fourth term when his current one expires in December, and many observers expect him to go out with a bang by filing what would be the first indictment against a former US president.
The Democrat became the first Black woman to become New York state attorney general in 2018.
Since then, the 62-year-old has forged a reputation as a combative and independent prosecutor, filing countless civil actions against large companies, particularly tech giants, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In addition to Donald Trump, Letitia James (pictured August 2020) is also investigating New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic
When Trump was in the White House, James launched dozens of civil actions against his government.
She is also investigating New York’s powerful Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
James has been cited as a possible successor to Cuomo, particularly if her investigation forces him to resign.
Allen Weisselberg: Trump Organization CFO
The 73-year-old is the Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer and one of the family’s most loyal servants.
He began as an accountant for Trump’s father’s company before joining the Trump Organization as financial controller in the 1980s when Donald established himself as a Manhattan real estate mogul.
Allen Weisselberg, pictured standing behind former president Donald Trump and his son Donald Jr. in January 2017, has served as the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization since the 1980s
Weisselberg has been around for all of Trump’s entrepreneurial adventures, including when his Atlantic City casinos went bust.
According to Barbara Res, a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization, Weisselberg ‘thought Trump was a god,’ she told the Daily News.
Investigators believe Weisselberg knows all of the Trump family secrets and have been putting pressure on him for months to cooperate with their investigation.
Observers are closely watching whether Weisselberg will turn against his former boss.
Jennifer Weisselberg: Ex-daughter in law of Allen Weisselberg
Earlier this year, investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office were seen carrying boxes of documents and laptops from Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment.
She was married ton Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry from 2004 to 2018.
In an interview with DailyMail.com in June, she said the former president is a ‘sweet’ and ‘generous’ man who helped pay for her children’s private schooling out of kindness and good-will, rather than to dodge taxes.
If there was any unlawful activity within the Trump Organization it would be thanks to her former in-laws who still work for the company, she told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
Up until 2018, the mother-of-two was married to Barry Weisselberg, who manages Trump’s Central Park ice rinks, and her father-in-law was Allen Weisselberg, who became the chief financial officer when Trump became president.
‘Allen orchestrated the finances, and Donald is just sort of naïve,’ Jennifer said.
‘It’s provable that his trusted CFO is putting [Trump] and his children in a bad legal position.’
She is also set to testify to the grand jury.
Earlier this year, investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office were seen carrying boxes of documents and laptops from Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment. She was married ton Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry (right) from 2004 to 2018
Jeff McConney: Trump Organization Senior Vice President
McConney was known as the man in the Trump Organization who would hand over key documents to Trump and CFO Allen Weisselberg before meetings and would be responsible for cutting checks for big payments.
He was the first high-profile member of Trump’s business empire known to have testified in front of the New York Grand Jury deciding whether to indict Trump.
Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen told The Daily Beast: ‘Think of The Trump Organization as a small, one-teller bank.
‘Donald [Trump] would be the president. Allen [Weisselberg] would be the branch manager. Jeff [McConney] would be the teller. Every single transaction was booked through McConney.
Concerns for prosecutors is that McConney is seen as a Trump loyalist and, as The Daily Beast reported, someone who hates left-wing politics.
Trump’s ex-personal lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws relating to Trump’s 2016 vote win.
Cohen was one of Trump’s closest henchmen for a decade, once proudly boasting that he was prepared to ‘take a bullet’ for the real estate mogul-turned-president.
Michael Cohen, pictured March 2021, openly rejoices in former boss Donald Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast
He turned against his former boss, though, deciding to collaborate with federal investigators in Manhattan.
During a Congressional hearing in February 2019, Cohen alleged — among other things — that Trump regularly undervalued or overvalued his assets, both with banks and insurance companies.
Cohen openly rejoices in Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast ‘Mea Culpa.’