Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, will say in a Manhattan court on Thursday that he conspired with some of the former president’s companies when he pleaded guilty to state tax crimes, two sources familiar with the case say. Rolling Stone.

As part of Weisselberg’s plea agreement, he has agreed to testify against The Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation at trial, which is scheduled for October.

If called to the witness stand during the trial, Weisselberg will give testimony that is the same as what he admits in court this week, the source said. One of the sources said that while Weisselberg agrees to testify, that doesn’t mean he necessarily will; it depends on whether prosecutors decide to call him. New York Times initially reported that Weisselberg was expected to plead guilty, and CNN reported that he would testify if called.

Weisselberg will not go beyond his testimony to help the criminal investigation, one of the sources said. However, his potential testimony could pose a serious threat to Trump’s companies. This potential evidence, which allegedly implicates Trump’s businesses, could be the key to securing a guilty verdict from prosecutors against these companies. When a company is found to have engaged in criminal behavior, significant fines can quickly pile up – potentially leading to its demise.

Weisselberg’s expected guilty plea stems from an indictment last year by the Manhattan district attorney’s office that accuses him and several of Trump’s companies of tax crimes in a “comprehensive and daring illegal scheme.” . These financial violations are related to the lavish benefits that came with being CFO of Donald Trump’s real estate empire. (The Trump Organization has maintained its not guilty plea, so his namesake business and several related entities remain under indictment.)

Starting in 2005, Weisselberg, an employee of the Trump family for about five decades, lived for free in an apartment on Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan. The Trump Corporation, which had rented the apartment, was covering his rent — along with Weisselberg’s utilities and parking fees, the indictment charged. The Trump Organization also allegedly made sure its longtime money man traveled in style. From 2005 to 2017, the former president’s company paid the leases for two Mercedes Benzes that Weisselberg and his wife used as personal cars. Trump’s company gave Weisselberg money around Christmas time so he could pay “personal holiday bonuses,” prosecutors alleged.

Weisselberg’s family was also well taken care of, prosecutors said. The company covered Weisselberg’s personal expenses “for his homes and for an apartment maintained by one of his children,” according to the indictment. Among those requests were items such as “new beds, flat screen televisions, carpeting and furniture installation for the Weisselberg home in Florida.” Weisselberg’s grandchildren also benefited from the arrangement, with the Trump Corporation footing the bill for their private school tuition, according to charging documents. Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg failed to declare these benefits on his taxes, meaning he allegedly received $1.7 million in illegal payments.

A lawyer for the Trump companies declined to comment. A spokesman for the Manhattan DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Speaking broadly about how a Weisselberg guilty plea could affect Trump, Rebecca Roiphe, a professor at New York Law School, says Rolling Stone: “It’s another Trump person getting punished for something and it also reflects on him more than just the company he keeps. This is obviously behavior that occurred separately from his presidency and has to do with how he ran his businesses. It is serious and significant if he was directly involved in these actions, or knew about them or was criminally responsible for them.”

Veisselberg’s guilty plea does not mean Trump will end up convicted of financial crimes. Roiphe explained that in corporate contexts, however, the discovery that a company upstream is committing crimes like Weisselberg’s violations could mean the end of a business.

“It should – and has – affected his reputation as a businessman in New York. Assuming they can also convict the organization, that could have direct consequences on his business and his work and the ability of his business to continue in New York,” Roiphe said. “Criminal liability is usually a pretty big deal. for a corporation – it is often a death sentence. Penalties can be so significant that the organization cannot survive after it. Penalties can be so high that the company simply does not exist and may ultimately end in the dissolution of the company .”

The potential for criminal liability for Trump was greatest in the Georgia election meddling case and the South Florida federal records investigation. “There is a parallel civil and criminal investigation in New York [and] while we don’t know where it will ultimately lead, there have certainly been signs that indicate that [New York] the criminal investigation has stalled,” said Roiphe.

Noah Shachtman contributed

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