A high-ranking Trump Organization employee stuck with the former president during the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into the company’s finances.
Jeffrey McConney, the company’s comptroller and chief lieutenant to former CFO Allen Weisselberg, testified before a grand jury before being indicted in June 2021, but he took responsibility for any unofficial benefits in the Weisselberg’s salary, according to court documents reviewed by “The Daily Beast“.
“I didn’t think or know they had to be reported,” McConney told the grand jury. “Until recently, I never thought [the apartment and tuition] had to be income — included in income. »
Investigators believe Weisselberg’s benefits — an apartment, a luxury car and private school tuition for his grandchildren — were kept off the books to avoid paying taxes on them, but McConney insists they were just a “generous gesture to Mr. Trump” and the company and Weisselberg say the testimony proves there was no criminal conspiracy.
Mr. McConney repeatedly testified before the grand jury that at the time of the alleged events in question, he did not believe he was doing anything wrong,” wrote Susan R. Necheles, attorney for the Trump Organization. to the extent that certain alleged fringe benefits were not reported as taxable income, this was an error on his part. This means that Mr. McConney did not act “willfully”, an essential element of a criminal tax offence. »
The longtime corporate accountant was in a prime position to take down the Trump Organization, but he had already taken the fall of the company and looks set to do it again.
McConney had previously told investigators he “probably didn’t know” the company shouldn’t use its donor-funded charity to pay for a lawsuit settlement or make a donation $25,000 to then Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and a source said he was “less than candid” in his testimony.
It’s unclear exactly what McConney told the grand jury or if he may have slipped up and incriminated Trump, Weisselberg or someone else, but his cooperation allows him to avoid charges for any crime he does. he could have revealed in his testimony, although he could potentially be charged with perjury if he lied under oath.
Weisselberg, who is due to stand trial this summer, has tried to have the case thrown out by a state judge and so far has been unwilling to cooperate with the investigation into Trump’s role in the alleged scheme. of tax evasion.
Prosecutors decided not to charge his son Barry Weisselberg, who ran the all-cash Wollman Rink in Central Park, for receiving untaxed benefits, though they did not explain the decision.