Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies and admitted he failed to pay taxes on $1.7 million in income, including luxury perks, such as rent and utilities for a Manhattan apartment, leases for a pair of Mercedes-Benz cars and private school tuition for his grandchildren.
He admitted to concealing those benefits from his accountant to under-report his income and knowingly omitting the income from his personal tax returns.
Judge Juan Merchan said Weisselberg would be sentenced after the Trump Organization’s trial. He said the agreement was for a five-month sentence to be followed by five years of probation.
The judge warned Weisselberg if he does not meet all the conditions of the plea agreement, “I would be at liberty to impose any lawful sentence which in your case includes imprisonment from 5 to 15 years.”
The plea puts him at odds with the Trump Organization, where he worked for 40 years, and his testimony could damage the company, if it goes to trial on related tax charges as scheduled in October.
Last week, the former president invoked his Fifth Amendment right (not to incriminate himself) during a deposition in which he refused to answer questions about his firm’s financial statements in the context of the investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Adding to the political uproar in Washington, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s private residence in Mar-a-Lago.
The federal agents’ search at Trump´s residence focused on presidential records that Trump took from the White House in violation of the Espionage Act, among other crimes.