So far, the bagman for Donald Trump has remained loyal to his boss after his decades of service, but will he crack? Allen Weisselberg is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Trump Organization. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. wants to flip Weisselberg, which would end the reign of the ex-president’s come-and-go fortune. His father was a good businessman, building the family’s fortune and bailing out Trump in his cascade of business failures. And here is the big question.
First a little brief background. In the high-stakes investigation, DA Vance pointed at the upscale private school tuition payments in the whopping untaxed amount of $359,058, according to The Daily Beast:
‘[They] constituted employee compensation and taxable income to Allen Weisselberg.’
If the ex-president avoided tax for the grandchildren of his CFO, would he not do the same for his own grandchildren?
Consider this. The CFO’s son Barry and former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg’s joint 2010 tax return showed that he earned $132,811:
‘[His] wages, salaries, and tips [totaled] $132,811. In New York, that’s enough for a couple to live in a comfortable one-bedroom apartment in Queens with a view of the city.’
In his deposition, Barry Weisselberg said claimed:
‘It was a corporate apartment, so we didn’t have rent.’
His wife’s attorney kept pressing with questions to reveal the value of this luxurious corporate perk. Clifford Petroske pressured Trump’s money man about the value of the luxury corporate benefit. “Monthly rent nowadays ranges from $5,300 to $20,000, according to Corcoran.com.” Petroske asked:
‘What would the rent have been if that apartment would have been rented to a third party?’
Had Barry Weisselberg reported the apartment perk on his taxes from 2005 to 2011. He claimed that he did not “recall:”
‘I have no idea.’
In his divorce testimony, Weisselberg’s son claimed that Trump set his income. The prosecutor asked:
‘Personally Donald Trump would make that decision?’
Finally, an honest answer came from the younger Weisselberg:
Jennifer Weisselberg’s attorney Duncan Levin praised her for turning over “a mountain of evidence:”
‘Jen has shown a great deal of bravery in coming forward with the information that she has. She has been 100 percent cooperative with prosecutors for many months.’
‘She’s met with prosecutors more than a half dozen times and has really done a thorough job of culling through a huge volume of materials to give to prosecutors. I’m very confident she is a pivotal witness to the district attorney’s office and in large measure responsible for where things stand today.’
Jennifer Weisselberg, whose children have been hidden from her, spoke to The Daily Beast. She said her “guiding principle was the example that her actions would set for her kids:”
‘Justice matters to me. I always wanted to teach my kids right from wrong. Accountability. And that if you don’t cheat and lie, you can still succeed with dignity.’
The Daily Beast unearthed more tax records, ones Ms. Weisselberg and her attorney found to be pivotal. Trump signed the check for the grandchildren’s tuition, then she hand-delivered it to their private school:
‘Grandpa Weisselberg paid more than $50,000 a year for each of the two kids to attend a top-rated private academy, the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. He’d been doing it for at least six years, Barry Weisselberg told his wife’s lawyer, Clifford Petroske.’
It was all in the family members scheme to “defraud” the government, too:
‘[A]s part of the scheme to defraud, Trump Corporation personnel, including Weisselberg, arranged for tuition expenses for Weisselberg’s family members to be paid by personal checks drawn on the account of and signed by Donald J. Trump.’
Both Weisselberg senior and The Trump Organization have been charged with tax fraud, ABC News reported.
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