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Former Trump Organization CFO begins tax evasion testimony

Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg took the stand as a prosecution witness on Tuesday, as part of a tax evasion trial. File Pool Photo by Seth Wenig/UPI
Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg took the stand as a prosecution witness on Tuesday, as part of a tax evasion trial. File Pool Photo by Seth Wenig/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg took the stand as a prosecution witness on Tuesday, as part of a tax evasion trial.

Weisselberg is testifying in the case against two Trump entities, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation.

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Prosecutors contend executives from both companies were given alleged tax-free payments, apartments, cars and other perks, including Weisselberg.

Weisselberg reached a deal with prosecutors in August. The long-time Trump family confidant agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion charges and serve about 100 days in custody, in exchange for testifying at the trial. He admitted to collecting $1.7 million in untaxed bonuses or perks.

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Former President Donald Trump is not charged in the case and is not expected to be called as a witness.

Weisselberg, 75, had worked for the Trump family since 1973 and was facing a maximum of 15 years in prison.

From the stand in a New York courtroom, Weisselberg on Tuesday acknowledged that he remained on the Trump Organization payroll for two months following his guilty plea. He collected an annual salary of $640,000 and around another half million dollars in annual bonuses.

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Bonuses and how they were paid out are a big part of the case.

Over a period of years, the companies paid bonuses to executives while designating them as independent contractors for tax purposes, one of several ways the payments were transferred.

Prosecutors hope Weisselberg's evidence will prove that the tax-free payments benefited or were intended to benefit the two Trump companies, a key requirement in obtaining a conviction.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office issued the indictment against Weisselberg, his fellow executives and both companies in July.

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