By now, disgraced former president Donald Trump probably thought his legal problems couldn’t possibly get any worse. After all, he’s facing criminal investigations and possible indictment in multiple states (i.e. Georgia and New York) and may also be prosecuted on federal charges for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Oh, and there’s also the hoarding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
One of Donald Trump’s most loyal deputies is expected to testify against the Trump Organization, in a trial that threatens to reveal the inner workings of the real estate empire that set the former president on his path to the White House.
Allen Weisselberg, who was the company’s accounting chief for decades, is almost certain to be called to the witness stand by New York prosecutors in the trial, which starts with jury selection Monday in Manhattan. The government claims the company routinely low-balled its tax exposure by paying senior executives with perks like company cars and rent-free apartments.
Barbara McQuade, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at the University of Michigan Law School, says the case against Weisselberg is groundbreaking:
Weisselberg was showered with perks and non-taxed benefits during his time with the Trump Organization. Those included “utilities and garage expenses, a Mercedes-Benz, tuition payments to a private school for his grandchildren, unreported cash and various personal expenses for his homes and his son’s apartment, including flat-screen televisions, new beds, carpeting and furniture.”
All of those extras were supposed to be taxed the same as income. But they weren’t, and that constitutes tax fraud.
Financial experts say a conviction in the tax case against Trump and Trump Org. would be significant.
Daniel Horwitz, a former prosecutor at the Manhattan DA’s office, notes: