Oh, boys and girls, it’s even better than I imagined! I am so looking forward to this trial.
Just remember that Allen Weisselberg has been the Trump Organization’s bookkeeper since the days of daddy Fred Trump, who hired him. He knows where all the bodies are buried, as a matter of speaking, in the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
It was the bookkeeper who took down Al Capone. I guess Weisselberg decided that he did not want to die of old age in prison serving time for Donald Trump’s crimes.
Rolling Stone reports, Trump’s CFO Allen Weisselberg Will Implicate Trump Companies in Guilty Plea:
Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s finance chief, will say in Manhattan court Thursday that he conspired with several of the ex-president’s companies when he pleads guilty to state tax crimes, two sources familiar with the case tell Rolling Stone.
As part of Weisselberg’s plea deal, he has agreed to testify against The Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation at trial, which is scheduled for October.
If called to the witness stand during trial, Weisselberg will provide testimony that is the same as what he admits to in court this week, the source said. One of the sources said that while Weisselberg is agreeing to testify, that does not mean he necessarily will; it depends on whether prosecutors decide to call him. [Oh, they will, they have to.] The New York Times first reported that Weisselberg was expected to plead guilty, and CNN reported he would testify if called.
Weisselberg will not go beyond his testimony to help the criminal probe, one of the sources said. Still, his potential testimony could pose a severe threat to Trump’s companies. This possible testimony, which allegedly implicates Trump’s businesses, could be key to prosecutors’ securing a guilty verdict against these companies. When a company is found to have engaged in criminal conduct, significant fines can pile up quickly — potentially leading to its demise.
In New York the state can dissolve a corporation, as it did previously with the fraudulent Trump University, and the fraudulent Trump Foundation.
Weisselberg’s expected guilty plea stems from an indictment last year from the Manhattan district attorney’s office accusing him and several of Trump’s companies of tax crimes in a “sweeping and audacious illegal payment scheme.” These financial offenses related to the lavish perks that came with being CFO of Donald Trump’s real estate empire. (The Trump Organization has maintained its not guilty plea, so his namesake business, and several related entities, remain under indictment.)
[A] lawyer for Trump’s companies declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Manhattan D.A.’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Speaking generally about how a Weisselberg guilty plea could impact Trump, Rebecca Roiphe, New York Law School professor, tells Rolling Stone: “It is another Trump person being convicted of something, and it also reflects on him more than just the company he keeps. This is obviously conduct that occurred separately from his presidency and has to do with how he conducted his businesses. Whether or not he [or is children] was directly involved in these actions, or knew about them or was criminally liable for them, it’s serious and significant.”
Weisselberg pleading guilty does not mean that Trump will wind up convicted of financial crimes. Roiphe explained that in corporate contexts, however, the discovery that a company higher-up is committing crimes like Weisselberg’s offenses could mean the end of a business.
“It should — and does — bear upon his reputation as a businessperson in New York. Assuming they can convict the organization as well, it can have direct consequences on his business and his work and his business’s ability to continue in New York,” Roiphe said. “Criminal liability is usually a pretty big deal for a corporation— it’s often a death sentence. The penalties could be so significant that the organization cannot survive past it. The penalties can be so high the company just doesn’t exist, and it could ultimately end in the dissolution of the company.”
The potential of criminal liability for Trump is greater in the Georgia election meddling case and South Florida federal records inquiry. “There’s a parallel civil and criminal investigation in New York [and] while we don’t know where it will ultimately lead, there have certainly been signs that show the [New York] criminal investigation has been lagging,” Roiphe said.
But the civil case by the New York Attorney General is proceeding with all deliberate speed.
UPDATE: New York Times: “Mr. Weisselberg is expected to admit to all 15 felonies he was charged with and will have to testify about his role in a scheme to avoid paying taxes on lavish corporate perks. That requirement will put the company at a disadvantage and make Mr. Weisselberg a central witness at its trial in October, where it will face many of the same charges.
The plea deal will allow Mr. Weisselberg, who was facing up to 15 years in prison, to spend as little as 100 days behind bars. And it does not require Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate with the Manhattan district attorney’s office in its broader investigation into Mr. Trump, who has not been accused of wrongdoing [yet].”
How sweet it would be to see the name “Trump” stripped off of every property he owns when the Trump Organization is dissolved and its assets seized by the state of New York.