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Longtime Trump Organization CFO bags 5 months jail term

Former US President Donald Trump’s most trusted and loyal employees, Allen Weisselberg, was escorted out of court in handcuffs on Tuesday after being sentenced to five months in jail for evading more than $1.7 million in taxes.

The unreported incomes are in the form of company-provided perks that included the rent on his Manhattan apartment, the leases on cars for himself and his wife and tuition for his grandchildren.

75-year-old Weisselberg, was sentenced to five months on Rikers Island, New York City’s notorious jail complex, followed by five years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty in August last year for orchestrating a 15-year tax scheme while working at the Trump Organization as chief financial officer.

As part of a plea deal, Weisselberg testified over three days in November against the Trump Organization at its criminal trial, which resulted in a conviction against the company for paying the personal expenses of some executives without reporting them as income, and for compensating them as independent contractors instead of full-time employees.

Weisselberg, while no longer the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, remained employed with Trump’s family real estate firm and expected to make more than $1 million last year in salary and bonuses, according to his testimony at trial.

As part of this testimony, he told a story about sitting with Trump in his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower one day in 2012 when Donald Trump Jr. walked in with checks for his father to sign to cover tuition payments for Don Jr.’s children.

Trump looked over at Weisselberg with a chuckle and said, “I might as well pay for your grandkids too,” according to Weisselberg’s testimony.

Trump then began paying $100,000 a year for Weisselberg’s two grandchildren to attend Columbia Grammar School. Weisselberg did not declare it as income and never paid taxes on it, he testified.

Trump, who was not a defendant in the case against the Trump Organization, denied any wrongdoing and called the case “a continuation of the Greatest Political Witch Hunt in the History of our Country.”

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas