A defense attorney for the Trump Organization urged jurors during closing arguments on Thursday to pin the blame for any wrongdoing at the former President’s real estate company on its ex-CFO, Allen Weisselberg.
“We are here today because of one reason and one reason only—the greed of Allen Weisselberg,” Susan Necheles told jurors during the tax fraud trial in a New York state court in Manhattan. “The purpose of Mr. Weisselberg’s crimes was to benefit Mr. Weisselberg.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has charged the Trump Organization with unlawfully awarding executive perks over a span of 15 years without telling tax authorities, and with falsely reporting bonuses as non-employee compensation. The company could face $1.6 million in fines if convicted.
Last month, company Controller Jeffrey McConney, who was given immunity for his testimony, suggested under oath that former President Trump was aware of allegedly illegal tax practices at his real estate company.
Former President Trump has not been charged. He has denied any wrongdoing and said he is being targeted because of politics.
Closing arguments for both the defense and prosecution are expected to end on Friday, with jury deliberations set to begin on Monday.