Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg Pleads Not Guilty to Tax Evasion Charges

Posted: Jul 01, 2021 4:45 PM
Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg Pleads Not Guilty to Tax Evasion Charges

Source: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

As was reported last night, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg have been indicted by a grand jury. Charges were revealed to include tax crimes. According to a CNN live update:

The indictment charges the Trump Organization, Trump Payroll Corporation the company's chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. 

Prosecutors in court described a 15-year tax scheme and said the charges include 15 felony counts, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records. 

Prosecutors allege Weisselberg evaded taxes on $1.7 million of income.

Prosecutors say they have digital drives with grand jury testimony, bookkeeping records, tax records, statements of potential witnesses.

Weisselberg appeared in court on Thursday afternoon, in handcuffs, to plead not guilty to charges which included grand larceny and tax fraud. Weisselberg was released on his own recognizance and told he had to hand over his passport.

A statement from New York State Attorney General Letitia James read:

“Today is an important marker in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg. In the indictment, we allege, among other things, financial wrongdoing whereby the Trump Organization engaged in a scheme with Mr. Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes on certain compensation. This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”  

Both lawyers for the Trump Organization and Weisselberg said they intend to fight the charges and that their clients were not guilty. 

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer with the Trump Organization, said at a press conference after the charges were read that the "political forces driving today's events are just that." He also called the charges "politically driven."

He also suggested Trump's name had something to do with the reason why the charges were being brought against the organization. "If the name of the company was something else, I don't think these charges would have been brought. In fact, I am fairly certain they would not have been brought if the name was a different name," Futerfas said.

A statement from the Trump Organization also said that Weisselberg was being used a "a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president" and that what was going on "is not justice; this is politics."

As lawyers pointed out, James has for years been on a crusade against Trump, including before she even took office as the state's attorney general. 

Former President Donald Trump was not charged. It is speculated, however, that prosecutors are hoping to persuade Weisselberg to turn on Trump.