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Ex-CFO: Trump Kids Boosted Pay After Learning Scheme

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Ex-CFO: Trump Kids Boosted Pay After Learning Scheme

(CTN NEWS) – How did Donald Trump‘s oldest sons, who were given control of his business when he was elected president, respond when they found out that a senior executive was plotting to avoid paying taxes on generous corporate perks?

According to testimony given on Friday in the criminal tax fraud trial for the Trump Organization, they granted him a raise.

The company’s longstanding CFO, Allen Weisselberg, testified that Eric Trump’s pay was increased by $200,000 after an internal investigation.

Prompted by Trump’s 2016 win, revealed that he had been deducting the cost of the benefits from his income and incentives.

Weisselberg claimed he used the extra money to pay for things Trump and the business previously owned, including the rent on a Manhattan apartment.

Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, his grandchildren’s college tuition, and more. The raises brought Weisselberg’s yearly salary to $1.14 million.

Weisselberg’s employer still pays him $640,000 in salary and $500,000 in holiday bonuses, and after his arrest in July 2021, they only minimally punished him by reassigning him to senior adviser and transferring his Trump Tower office. Now he is on paid leave.

On his third and last day of evidence, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger questioned Weisselberg, “Now, even after you pled guilty in this case, did the business reduce your income one penny?”

“No,”  he answered.

“Even after your betrayal of their trust? ”she questioned.

“Correct.”

Weisselberg claimed that the audit informed Eric and Donald Trump Jr., both executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, that Weisselberg had failed to declare his apartment as taxable income as required by law.

Weisselberg informed Eric Trump that “because the practise was no longer going on, I would need some additional money to pay for those expenses” following the audit, according to his testimony to the jury.

He then sought for a raise shortly after.

Weisselberg claimed that even as he gets ready to leave for New York City’s infamous Rikers Island jail complex.

Eric Trump, who oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, has already approved his raise and is next in line to do so for a second $500,000 holiday bonus.

Weisselberg claimed that other executives who were charged with planning to evade taxes preserved their positions and salaries.

They consist of Matthew Calamari Sr., the company’s COO, and his son Barry Weisselberg, a former manager of the ice rink in Central Park.

Weisselberg, 75, admitted to receiving $1.7 million in off-the-books remuneration in August. In exchange for a five-month prison term, he must testify for the prosecution under the terms of his plea agreement.

Weisselberg claimed he had turned down an offer of one to three years in prison even though he could have spent up to 15 years behind bars.

According to Manhattan’s prosecutors, Weisselberg was a “high managerial agent” working for the Trump Organization, which makes it responsible for his conduct because he helped senior executives avoid paying taxes on company-paid benefits.

The only trial to result from the Manhattan district attorney’s three-year probe of Trump and his business dealings is the tax fraud case.

The business might have trouble closing deals and face a fine of more than $1 million if found guilty.

According to Weisselberg’s testimony on Friday, top Trump Organization executives who are also family members of the president-elect appeared to have tolerated his actions rather than dismissing him and reporting them to the authorities.

Weisselberg claimed the arrangement benefited the business because it reduced the amount of income it had to pay him.

However, the company’s attorneys contend that the Trumps are fiercely devoted, highlighting how Weisselberg was “among the most trusted people they knew”

And how they have stuck by him despite his admission of betraying them. The business is paying his attorneys.

In his cross-examination of Weisselberg, company attorney Alan Futerfas remarked that Trump had “not kicked you to the curb” even during the “worst time of your life.”

“Even after you pled guilty in this case, did the company reduce your salary one penny?” asked Susan Hoffinger on Weisselberg’s third and final day of testimony.

Weisselberg answered, “No.

Trump, who declared on Tuesday that he would run for president again in 2024, is not anticipated to show up at the trial.

However, he gave a hint on Friday that he had been following along by supporting Weisselberg and criticising the prosecution in posts on Truth Social.

Trump claimed in a letter that after Weisselberg testified on Thursday that neither he nor any members of his family were involved in his tax evasion scheme, the case had “broken apart.”

“Did a long-time executive pay taxes on his use of a company car, a business apartment, or payments (not even taken by us as a tax deduction!) for his grandchildren’s schooling. He gets jail time and shackles for this, right?”

In his letter, Trump called the situation “VERY UNFAIR!”

When Trump was elected president in November 2016, his privately held Trump Organization, which he and his family use to run their golf courses, opulent skyscrapers, and other businesses, came under increased scrutiny.

Weisselberg claimed that around that time, he and another executive, Jeffrey McConney, came to the conclusion that the business needed to stop some of its questionable pay practises.

A Washington lawyer was hired by them, and she conducted an audit and produced a memo detailing her findings.

The senior vice president and controller, McConney, falsified payroll records to lower Weisselberg’s tax obligations. He gave testimony early in the trial and was granted immunity.

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