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Hearing on releasing more documents from Mar-a-Lago search under way

Allen Weisselberg arrives in court in New York on Thursday, August 18.
Allen Weisselberg arrives in court in New York on Thursday, August 18. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

In another investigation related to former President Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in a 15-year-long tax fraud scheme and as part of the deal he has agreed to testify against former Trump’s real estate company at trial.

In court Thursday, Weisselberg said “yes, your honor” when asked if he was pleading guilty of his own choice.  

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies and admitted he failed to pay taxes on $1.7 million in income, including luxury perks, such as rent and utilities for a Manhattan apartment, leases for a pair of Mercedes-Benz cars, and private school tuition for his grandchildren. 

He admitted to concealing those benefits from his accountant to underreport his income and knowingly omitted the income from his personal tax returns. 

Weisselberg answered a series of specific questions about the scheme from the judge in a hushed and barely audible tone, saying “yes, your honor” repeatedly.

As part of the deal, he will pay nearly $2 million in back taxes, interest and penalties and waive any right to appeal. 

Allen Weisselberg enters the courtroom on August 18 in New York.
Allen Weisselberg enters the courtroom on August 18 in New York. (Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images)

Judge Juan Merchan said Weisselberg would be sentenced after the Trump Organization’s trial. He said the agreement was for a five-month sentence to be followed by five years of probation. The judge warned Weisselberg if he does not meet all the conditions of the plea agreement, “I would be at liberty to impose any lawful sentence which in your case includes imprisonment from 5 to 15 years.” 

The plea puts him at odds with the Trump Organization, where he has worked for 40 years, and his testimony could damage the company, if it goes to trial on related tax charges as scheduled in October.

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