To convict the Trump Organization, prosecutors would have to convince jurors that Weisselberg or his subordinate, Jeffrey McConney, senior vice president and chief financial officer, were “senior management” agents acting on behalf of the company and that the Companies also benefited from his plans.
Throughout the month-long trial, Trump Organization lawyers repeated the mantra “Weiselberg does it for Weisselberg.” They argued that the executive had gone rogue and betrayed the company’s trust. They argued that no one in the Trump family or company was to blame.
Although he testified as a witness for the prosecution, Weisselberg also sought to take responsibility on the stand, saying that no one in the Trump family knew what he was doing.
“It was my personal greed,” an emotional Wesselberg testified.
Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to evading taxes on $1.7 million in fringe benefits, testified that he and McConney conspired to hide the additional compensation from his income by deducting their costs from his pre-tax salary and issuing falsified annual payment forms.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor Joshua Stanglass sought to counter claims that Trump knew nothing about the scheme. He showed jurors a lease signed by Trump for the Wesselberg apartment, paid for by the company, and a memo initialed by Trump authorizing a pay cut for another executive who received a stipend .
“Mr. Trump clearly sanctioned tax fraud,” Stangglass argued.
The verdict did not end Trump’s battle with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who took office in January.
Bragg has said a related investigation into Trump, begun under his predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jnr, “is actively ongoing.”
in there wide range detectionInvestigators are looking into whether Trump misled banks and others about the value of his holdings of real estate, golf courses and other assets — allegations brought against the former president and his companies by New York Attorney General Letitia James The allegations at the heart of the pending lawsuit.
The DA’s office is also investigating whether Trump allies violated any state laws when they made payments to two women who said they had sex with Republicans years ago.
Towards the end of his term last year, Vance directed deputies to present evidence to a grand jury for possible indictment of Trump. Once in office, though, Bragg had the grand jury dismissed in order to give the case a fresh look.
On Monday, he confirmed that a new chief prosecutor had been appointed to handle the probe, another indication that it was still ongoing.