Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization, chokes on a fraud lawsuit

The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, choked on the witness stand Thursday and said he was ashamed that he had betrayed the Trump family’s trust by plotting to pay taxes on $1.7 million in perks evade.

Testifying in Manhattan Superior Court, Weisselberg, 75, denied he conspired with Donald Trump or his family to hide more than a decade of company-paid benefits from the CFO’s taxable income — and insisted that he had planned a conspiracy with a subordinate.

“It was my personal greed that led to this case,” Weisselberg said during questioning by attorneys at the Trump Org.

The Trump Org is on trial for allegedly helping Weisselberg and other top executives avoid income taxes for 15 years by falsifying reports to the government about their compensation.

Weisselberg accepted $1.7 million in perks “off the books” — including free rent for an Upper West Side apartment, luxury cars and college tuition for his grandchildren.

Defense attorneys have argued that the Trump Org was unaware that its chief financial officer had cheated on his personal tax returns — and that the blame lies squarely with him.

Allen Weisselberg testified Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Allen Weisselberg, 75, testified in the Manhattan Supreme Court that he betrayed the Trump family’s trust by fraudulently accepting $1.7 million in perks to avoid taxes.
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When asked if he was embarrassed about what he had done, Weisselberg replied, “More than you can imagine.”

He started crying when defense attorney Alan Futerfas spied on him about his ties to the Trump family – and whether he had betrayed their trust.

“It was a small theft,” Weisselberg said of the insidiousness.

The longtime Trump confidante, who pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax evasion in August, was promised a five-month prison term in exchange for testifying as prosecutors’ key witness.

At the booth, Weisselberg recalled helping Trump through the company’s dark times and watching Trump’s three oldest children – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric – grow up. He said he was “among the most trustworthy people they knew.”

Despite being furloughed after his guilty plea last month, Weisselberg is still receiving his $640,000 salary from the Trump Org.

Throughout the trial, attorneys for the Trump Org have attempted to portray the chief financial officer as a loyal lieutenant who has gone rogue and hatched the tax fraud scheme himself.

Donald Trump is pictured with his children and his chief financial officer.
Weisselberg, pictured behind Donald Trump and his children, testified that he was “among the most trusted people” the family knew.

Weisselberg testified that he conspired with the company’s senior vice president and controller, Jeffrey McConney, to deduct perks from his salary — reducing his tax liability and saving money for the Trump Org. He also said Trump sanctioned Weisselberg’s pay cuts and personally paid for his grandchildren’s private school tuition until he became president in 2016.

Weisselberg has given no indication that Trump knew about the tax evasion scam.

He also testified that for decades the company managed to evade taxes by drawing some bonus checks for subsidiary executives that allowed them to be deducted as expenses.

Weisselberg said Trump “always wanted to sign the bonus checks” stuffed into Christmas cards and distributed at the company’s offices in Trump Tower.

The practice was abandoned after a tax attorney audited the company’s wage practices after Trump became president in 2017.

“We went through a complete clean-up process in the company. Now that Mr. Trump is president, we wanted to make sure everything was done right,” Weisselberg said.

With postal wires Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization, chokes on a fraud lawsuit


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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