Allen Weisselberg

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Allen Weisselberg
Born (1947-08-15) August 15, 1947 (age 74)
EducationPace University (BS)
OccupationChief financial officer of The Trump Organization

Allen Howard Weisselberg (born August 15, 1947) is an American businessman who was the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Trump Organization. Weisselberg served as a co-trustee of a trust set up in 2017 by Donald Trump before Trump's inauguration as president of the United States.

Early life[edit]

Weisselberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the borough's Brownsville neighborhood.[1] He is of Jewish descent.[2] He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in nearby East New York, before receiving a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Pace University in 1970.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Weisselberg began working as an accountant for Gravesend-based real estate magnate Fred Trump in 1973.[5] By the late 1980s, he was controller of the company (which had relocated its main office to Midtown Manhattan under the auspices of Donald Trump) and reported to Stephen Bollenbach, his predecessor as chief financial officer.[4]

In 2000, Weisselberg was named chief financial officer and vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. He also was a board member and treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In 2017, Weisselberg said in a deposition to New York State investigators that he wasn't aware he was a board member "at least for the last 10 or 15 years".[6][7][8] He has also handled the household expenses of the Trump family.[9][4] Along with Donald Trump, he is one of two trustees of a New York-based revocable trust that in turn owns DT Connect Member Corp.[10]

On January 11, 2017, shortly before Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States, the Trump Organization announced that Weisselberg would manage the company along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during Trump's presidency.[3] A summary of trust arrangements dated February 10, 2018, lists Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. as trustees, and Eric Trump as an adviser. The summary also indicated that, as trustees, only Weisselberg and Trump Jr. knew the details of the trust's finances.[11]

Prosecution[edit]

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer at the start of his presidency, said that Weisselberg had arranged for the Trump Organization to pay Cohen $35,000 a month, to reimburse him for hush money Trump had asked Cohen to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 election, to keep her from talking publicly about an affair she says she had with Trump.[9][12] In July 2018, Weisselberg was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury regarding the Cohen investigation.[13] Weisselberg was granted limited witness immunity for his testimony.[14][15][16]

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was also investigating Weisselberg. When the federal investigation by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York "effectively concluded" in July 2019, Vance issued new subpoenas in connection with the hush-money payments. Weisselberg's federal immunity does not extend to state investigations.[17] Vance stepped up his state criminal investigation in February 2021, after the US Supreme Court authorized Trump's accountants to turn over Trump's personal and business tax records to him. Vance's office then reportedly focused its investigation on Weisselberg, as well as on Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, allegedly with the goal of pressuring Weisselberg to "flip" and testify against his employer.[18] The New York Times reported that investigators had also asked at least one witness about Weisselberg’s sons—Barry, who had managed Wollman Rink, and Jack, who works at Ladder Capital, a Trump Organization lender.[19] By March 2021, prosecutors were examining financial records of Weisselberg and his family members.[20][21] His former daughter-in-law Jen Weisselberg, who was married to Barry Weisselberg from 2004 until 2018, released to the Manhattan DA numerous documents that revealed how some Trump employees received compensation in real estate and other items.[22][23]

CNN reported in May 2021 that the New York State attorney general had opened a criminal tax investigation into Weisselberg months earlier.[24] The investigation was pursued by the Manhattan district attorney's office. In June, a grand jury heard evidence against him.[25] Weisselberg surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney's office in New York City on July 1, 2021,[26] hours before the grand jury's indictments against him and the Trump Organization were unsealed.[27] Weisselberg was charged with 15 felony counts for evading $344,745 in taxes over 15 years. He pleaded not guilty.[28]

Personal life[edit]

In 1978, Weisselberg purchased a modest ranch-style house in Wantagh, New York, a suburban hamlet in Long Island's Nassau County. This would remain his primary residence until 2013, when he and his wife, Hilary, sold the property for $468,000 and "moved into a high floor" of a luxury apartment building in the Trump Organization's Riverside South development on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.[3][29] In 2002, the couple bought a vacation home in Boynton Beach, Florida.[29] Former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg has asserted that Donald Trump disparaged the Wantagh residence at a 2004 family shiva.[23] She added: "He has more feelings and adoration for Donald than for his wife... For Donald, it's a business. But for Allen, it's a love affair.”[23]

His son Jack Weisselberg is a loan-origination executive at Ladder Capital, which has acted as a lender to the Trump Organization.[30][31] Another son, Barry Weisselberg, has managed the Trump Organization's Central Park ice rinks.[18]

Allen Weisselberg appeared as a judge on the seventh episode of the second season of The Apprentice.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abelson, Max (September 3, 2015). "How Trump Invented Trump". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Goldiner, Dave (August 24, 2018). "Who Is Allen Weisselberg, The Third Key Jewish Associate To Flip On Trump". Jewish Daily Forward.
  3. ^ a b c Low-Key ‘Wallpaper’ Jewish Exec Catapults to Top of Trump Organization, Fast Forward, January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Teitelbaum, Richard (November 5, 2016). "Donald Trump's Loyal Numbers Man". The Wall Street Journal.
  5. ^ Twohey, Megan; Buettner, Russ; Eder, Steve (December 25, 2016). "Inside the Trump Organization, the Company That Has Run Trump's Big World". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Schneiderman, Eric (July 19, 2018). "In the Matter of The Investigation of The Donald J Trump Foundation, Inc., Exhibit 6" (PDF). State of New York Office of the Attorney General. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Krawczyk, Kathryn (June 14, 2018). "The Trump Foundation's treasurer didn't know he was treasurer until investigators told him". The Week. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  8. ^ Sugin, Linda (September 30, 2016). "An Uncharitable Foundation". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  9. ^ a b O’Brien, Rebecca Davis; Ballhaus, Rebecca; Rothfeld, Michael; Berzon, Alexandra (July 26, 2018). "Trump Organization Finance Chief Called to Testify Before Federal Grand Jury". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  10. ^ McLaughlin, Martyn (September 18, 2019). "Donald Trump's luxury helicopter charter plans fail to take off". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on September 18, 2019. In a sign of the dense and complex corporate structure set up to accommodate Mr Trump’s various business interests, DT Connect II LLC is in turn part owned by an entity known as DT Connect Member Corp, which itself is fully owned by a New York-based revocable trust with just two trustees - Mr Trump and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s veteran chief financial officer.
  11. ^ Kravitz, Derek; Shaw, Al (April 4, 2017). "Trump Lawyer Confirms President Can Pull Money From His Businesses Whenever He Wants". ProPublica. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Palazzolo, Joe; Hong, Nicole; Rothfeld, Michael; O'Brien, Rebecca Davis (November 9, 2018). "Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal". The Wall Street Journal. Had he just paid the ex-adult film star himself, Mr. Trump would have been out of pocket $130,000. Instead, Mr. Weisselberg authorized a reimbursement of twice that much, characterized in Mr. Trump’s records as legal fees, to cover the income tax hit Mr. Cohen would take. He also added a $60,000 bonus. Mr. Cohen received the money in monthly installments of $35,000.
  13. ^ Mangan, Dan; Breuninger, Kevin (July 26, 2018). "Trump Org. CFO mentioned in Michael Cohen tape called by grand jury to testify: WSJ". CNBC. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Hong, Rebecca Ballhaus and Nicole (August 24, 2018). "Allen Weisselberg, Longtime Trump Organization CFO, Testified and Was Granted Immunity in Cohen Probe". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Schmidt, Michael S.; Eder, Steve (August 24, 2018). "Allen Weisselberg, Top Trump Organization Official, Was Granted Immunity for Testimony". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Waldman, Paul; Sargent, Greg (March 1, 2019). "Opinion | Meet the man who could bring down Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  17. ^ Elkind, Peter (November 21, 2019). "Prosecutors Investigating the Trump Organization Zero In on Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg". ProPublica.
  18. ^ a b Fahrenthold, David A.; O'Connell, Jonathan; Jacobs, Shayna; Hamburger, Tom (March 3, 2021). "In Trump probe, Manhattan district attorney puts pressure on his longtime chief financial officer". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  19. ^ Protess, Ben; Rashbaum, William K.; Haberman, Maggie (March 1, 2021). "Prosecutors investigating Trump focus on his finance chief". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  20. ^ Protess, Ben; Rashbaum, William K.; Bromwich, Jonah E.; Haberman, Maggie (March 31, 2021). "N.Y. Seeks Trump Insider's Records, in Apparent Bid to Gain Cooperation". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Fahrenthold, David A.; Jacobs, Shayna (April 1, 2021). "New York attorney general probes finances of key Trump aide". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  22. ^ "New York attorney general says Trump Organization probe now criminal". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The Associated Press. May 19, 2021.
  23. ^ a b c Mayer, Jane. "Can Cyrus Vance, Jr., Nail Trump?". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  24. ^ Scannell, Kara; Moghe, Sonia (May 20, 2021). "NY attorney general has been looking into the taxes of Trump Organization CFO for months, sources say". CNN. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  25. ^ Rashbaum, William K.; Protess, Ben; Bromwich, Jonah E. (June 15, 2021). "Trump Executive Could Face Charges as Soon as This Summer". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  26. ^ Protess, Ben; Rashbaum, William K.; Bromwich, Jonah E. (July 1, 2021). "Top Trump Executive Allen Weisselberg Surrenders to Face Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  27. ^ Rothfield, Michael; Bromwich, Jonah; Protess, Ben (June 30, 2021). "Trump Organization and Top Executive Are Indicted in Tax Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  28. ^ Orden, Erica; Scannell, Kara (July 1, 2021). "Prosecutors charge Trump Organization with a 15-year tax scheme". CNN. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  29. ^ a b "The Point: Trump's accountant has LI connection". Newsday. March 1, 2019.
  30. ^ Finch, Gavin; Arons, Steven; Nasiripour, Shahien; Basak, Sonali (February 20, 2019). "Deutsche Bank Weighed Extending Trump Loans on Default Risk". Bloomberg News. In the four years before his election, Trump borrowed more than $620 million from Deutsche Bank and a separate lender, Ladder Capital, to finance projects in Manhattan, Chicago, Washington and a Miami suburb, federal documents and property records show. Jack Weisselberg, a top loan-origination executive at Ladder, is the son of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer who previously worked for Donald Trump’s father, Fred. Ladder loaned Trump $282 million for four Manhattan properties, records show.
  31. ^ Craig, Susanne; Cohan, William D. (May 23, 2016). "Trump Boasts of Rapport With Wall St., but the Feeling Is Not Quite Mutual". The New York Times. Ladder Capital happens to employ Jack Weisselberg, the son of Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
  32. ^ "The Apprentice: Season 2 - Episodic". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 8, 2004. Retrieved July 28, 2018. 200 Flanked by this week's field judges, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump assigns the latest task to the revamped teams gathered in Central Park[...]

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