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Trump exec on tax fraud charge removed from leadership role


Former US president Donald Trump

Former US president Donald Trump

Former US president Donald Trump

The Trump Organisation has removed indicted chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg from his leadership roles at more than 40 subsidiary companies in the US and Scotland.

The changes were made a week after a grand jury in Manhattan indicted Mr Weisselberg on 15 felony counts, including grand larceny and tax fraud.

Mr Weisselberg was accused by New York prosecutors of helping run a 15-year scheme to evade income taxes by concealing executives’ salaries – including more than $1.7m (€1.44m) of his own income – from tax authorities. Two Trump corporate entities were indicted alongside Mr Weisselberg.

Corporate filing show that last week, the Trump Organisation removed Mr Weisselberg as a director of the company that runs its golf course in Aberdeen.

The next day, the company filed paperwork in Florida to remove him as a director at 40 different subsidiaries registered in the US state.

Those subsidiaries included a holding company that owns many Trump businesses, a corporate entity that handles payroll for many Trump employees and even a Trump project in Florida that went bust more than a decade ago.

Previously, Mr Weisselberg had shared the leadership of these companies with one of Mr Trump’s adult sons or, in the case of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, with Mr Trump himself. Now, records show, the Trump family members are left in charge.

The removal of the Weisselberg name from these corporate filings could avoid questions from regulators, lenders or vendors.

But it may not change much in the companies’ operations. On paper, the Trump Organisation is a web of interconnected entities, each with its own set of officers. But in practice, the subsidiaries have all been run by the same small group of executives at Trump Tower in New York, including Mr Trump, his adult sons and Mr Weisselberg – with little regard to who holds formal offices in what subsidiary.

A person familiar with the company told The Washington Post: “Allen Weisselberg’s at the company. He’s got a job. He’s going to remain at the company.”

The Trump Organisation did not respond to questions on Monday about the changes in Mr Weisselberg’s roles.

An attorney for Mr Weisselberg, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment.

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Mr Weisselberg (73) has worked for Mr Trump’s company since the 1970s, and in recent years has become its most powerful executive outside the Trump family.

When Mr Trump entered the White House in 2017, he left the company’s day-to-day leadership in the hands of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr, and Mr Weisselberg.

Now prosecutors in New York have charged Mr Weisselberg with helping orchestrate a scheme that hid some of the income of top Trump executives – including his own.

Prosecutors said some executive salary would be paid in non-cash benefits, such as free apartments, cars or tuition help. Then, prosecutors said, Mr Weisselberg and others hid that non-cash income from tax authorities.

Mr Weisselberg himself evaded more than $900,000 in taxes, prosecutors alleged.

Mr Trump has not been charged in the investigation.

Mr Weisselberg pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers said he intended to fight the charges. (© Washington Post)

© Washington Post

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