Donald Trump’s longtime financial chief is expected to plead guilty Thursday to a tax evasion case, the only criminal charge stemming from a lengthy probe into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter said. person told the Associated Press.
Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg faces trial in October for allegedly taking more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the company, including rent, car payments and school tuition. It was planned.
Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and Weisselberg’s attorney met Monday with Judge Juan Manuel Marchan, who is overseeing the case, according to court records. The judge later scheduled a hearing on the matter for Thursday at 9 a.m., but did not say why.
Those who spoke to the AP did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the incident. They said the purpose of Thursday’s hearing was to start Weisselberg’s guilty plea, but warned that the plea deal could fall apart before it is finalized in court.
Weisselberg’s attorney, Nicholas Gravante Jr., told the New York Times on Monday that Weisselberg is in legal negotiations to resolve the case, but did not specify the terms of a potential plea bargain.AP When contacted, Gravante declined to comment.
The Times, citing two people familiar with the matter, said Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison and could be released after about 100 days. The deal does not require Weisselberg to testify or cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices.
Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, has also been indicted in the case, but did not appear to be involved in negotiating a plea bargain. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment. A message was left for the Trump Organization’s attorneys for comment.
News of Weisselberg’s plea bargain comes just days after a judge rejected a request by his lawyers and the Trump Organization to dismiss the case. Although the count of action has been dismissed, there are more than a dozen other counts remaining.
In seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, Weisselberg’s attorneys argued that prosecutors in the Democratic-led district attorney’s office were punishing him.
The judge dismissed the argument, saying that the evidence presented to the grand jury was legally sufficient to support the charges.
Weisselberg, who turned 75 on Monday, is the only Trump executive charged in a long-running criminal investigation started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who went to the Supreme Court to secure Trump’s tax records. Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg, is now overseeing the investigation. Several other Trump officials have been granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in this case.
Prosecutors allege that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization planned to give senior executives, including Weisselberg, off-the-books compensation for 15 years. accused of defrauding of unpaid taxes and unfair tax refunds.
The most serious charge against Weisselberg, grand theft, could carry a sentence of five to 15 years in prison. Tax evasion against the company is punishable by a fine of twice his amount in unpaid taxes or $250,000, whichever is greater.
Trump has not been charged with a criminal investigation, but prosecutors have noted that he signed some of the checks at the center of the case. said his firm’s actions were standard practice in the real estate industry and were by no means criminal.
Last week, Trump asked for depositions in a parallel civil investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James into allegations that the Trump firm misled lenders and tax authorities about property values. Trump has exercised his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination more than 400 times.
In the months since Weisselberg’s arrest, the criminal investigation seemed to be moving toward possible criminal charges against Trump himself, but the investigation slowed and the grand jury was disbanded after Bragg took office in January. , the chief prosecutor has left – although he claims it continues.