Former Trump CFO Pleads Guilty, May Testify Against the Company

·3 min read
Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of Trump Organization Inc., center, departs from criminal court in New York, U.S., on on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Getting Donald Trump's longtime chief financial officer to turn on his boss may prove tough, as Weisselberg's unlikely to get a lengthy sentence even if convicted on tax fraud and other charges.
Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of Trump Organization Inc., center, departs from criminal court in New York, U.S., on on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Getting Donald Trump's longtime chief financial officer to turn on his boss may prove tough, as Weisselberg's unlikely to get a lengthy sentence even if convicted on tax fraud and other charges.

Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty

Longtime Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty Thursday morning to tax fraud charges as part of a deal with prosecutors investigating a scheme allegedly orchestrated "by the most senior executives" of the company, outlets including The New York Times report.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to all 15 felonies that prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office accused him of and, in exchange, will be sentenced to 5 months in jail and 5 years probation.

The Times reports that Weisselberg has previously refused to cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation into Trump and his family, though his deal will require him to testify about the scheme in a future trial in the criminal case against the Trump Organization, if he is called as a witness.

According to the indictment, Weisselberg and "others" at the Trump Organization devised a scheme to compensate themselves "in a manner that was 'off the books': the beneficiaries of the scheme received substantial portions of their income through indirect and disguised means, with compensation that was unreported or misreported by the Trump Corporation or Trump Payroll Corp."

Weisselberg, the indictment says, was "one of the largest individual beneficiaries" of the scheme, and allegedly received "indirect employee compensation from the Trump Organization in the approximate amount of $1.76 million."

The indictment claims that Weisselberg and The Trump Organization avoided reporting the total compensation to tax authorities.

The Trump Organization is accused of paying for the rent of Weisselberg's apartment on Riverside Boulevard as well as his utilities, garage expenses and his grandchildren's tuition, prosecutors said.

According to the Times, Weisselberg would have faced up to 15 years in prison were it not for the plea deal.

REPORT: Longtime Trump Organization Executive Is Nearing a Plea Deal on Tax Fraud Charges: Report

Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer, turned himself in to authorities last June, after prosecutors accused him of being part of the alleged tax fraud scheme.

In court documents reviewed by PEOPLE, prosecutors allege Weisselberg avoided paying taxes on more than $1.7 million in income from the Trump Organization from 2005 through this year.

Weisselberg has been with the company for 48 years, according to the Trump Organization. He most recently helped run the business alongside Eric and Donald Trump Jr. while their father was president.

Donald Trump, 76, has not been charged and his company has decried the case against Weisselberg as part of a strategy to target him.

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Still, the former president faces a growing list of legal problems now that he's no longer in office, including another long-running probe into the Trump Organization launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James' state office.

The investigations have centered on whether the Trump Organization undervalued or overvalued its property in order to obtain loans and more favorable tax breaks, according to the Times.

Trump is also facing lawsuits over his push to overturn the 2020 election results in his favor as well as investigation into whether he potentially obstructed justice and violated the Espionage Act, according to a now-public search warrant executed at the former president's Mar-a-Lago home recently.