Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, was set to testify Tuesday in the the former President’s civil business fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court.
Weisselberg, who’s also a defendant in the lawsuit brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, pleaded guilty in August to 15 felonies and agreed to testify for the prosecution.
The then-75-year-old was sentenced in January to five months at Rikers Island for his role in a decades-long tax fraud scheme, but was eligible for release after 100 days with time off for good behavior, and was let out of prison in April.
Weisselberg’s plea deal required that he testify truthfully against the Trump Organization even while the family that has employed him since 1973 continued to pay his salary and his legal bills.
In a summary judgment before the trial began, State Supreme Court Judge Engoron ruled in agreement with James, who accused Trump and his companies, as well as his two adult sons, of committing more than 200 instances of bank, tax and insurance fraud over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2021.
In sum, Engoron found that Trump and the other defendants committed fraud by inflating the value of Trump Organization assets to boost his net worth and obtain more favorable business deals—but would also undervalue assets to reduce his tax bills.
Engoron’s pre-trial ruling ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment—making it nearly or completely impossible for the Trump Organization to continue to do business in New York State. The judge further said that an independent monitor would continue to oversee the company’s operations.
The summary judgment resolved the key claim in James’ lawsuit, but the other claims remain, including the amount of damages that will be levied. The state Attorney General is suing Trump and the other defendants for $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in his home state.
During his deposition in this past spring Weisselberg recalled how Trump would sometimes underline or write a question mark next to values he disagreed with and would quibble about the language the financial statements used to describe his properties.
“I might say beautiful. He might say magnificent,” Weisselberg testified. “I might say it was cute. He would say it’s incredible.”
The trial could last into late December, according to Engoron.