Longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is close to reaching a plea agreement with Manhattan prosecutors, but the deal will not include cooperation in the investigation into Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.
The plea will, however, brand Trump’s former Chief Financial Officer a felon.
According to The New York Times‘ reporting:
“On Monday, Weisselberg’s lawyers and prosecutors met with the judge overseeing the case, according to a court database. The judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday in Weisselberg’s case, a possible indication that a deal has been reached and a plea could be entered then.”
“While Mr. Weisselberg, 75, is facing financial penalties as well as years in prison if convicted at trial, a plea deal would scrap a high-profile trial and most likely would spare him from a lengthy sentence,” said the report. “One person with knowledge of the matter said that Mr. Weisselberg was expected to receive a five-month prison sentence, an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.”
There are parallel investigations by the New York and Manhattan District Attorneys’ offices into whether the Trump Organization knowingly and intentionally manipulated asset valuations in an attempt to secure bank financing and avoid taxes. The plea negotiations with the company’s CFO were discovered after New York State judge Juan Merchan declined to dismiss the criminal case against Weisellberg and the Trump Organization.
After a promising start in the criminal investigation, newly-elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg – who replaced former prosecutor Cy Vance – has stalled his pursuit of the allegations.
The abandonment of the active prosecution prompted the resignations of the investigation’s two top prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, after a month-long pause in the presentation of evidence to a grand jury.
A controversial memo sent out on Jan. 3 of this year told assistant district attorneys not to seek prison sentences for many criminals and to downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors, according to the New York Post. This led to a mass exodus from the DA’s office – at least nine in a two-week span.
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James is moving forward in her office’s civil inquiry into the Trump Organization’s — and Weisselberg’s — financial improprieties. When former president Trump testified before the grand jury last week after a judge’s ruling forced him to, he pled the Fifth Amendment 440 times.
Original reporting by Ben Process, William K. Rashbaum, and Jonah E. Bromwich at The New York Times.
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