The most serious offense leveled in a 15-count indictment of former President Donald Trump’s longtime right-hand man, Allen Weisselberg, also carries the most uncertainty for New York prosecutors, according to legal scholars and white-collar defense attorneys.
The charge—a single count of second-degree grand larceny—stands out in the July 1 indictment, which alleges that the Trump Organization and Mr. Weisselberg, its chief financial officer, cheated on taxes over the course of more than a decade. Prosecutors say the company secretly padded Mr. Weisselberg’s compensation, subsidizing everything from his Upper West Side residence to home furnishings and private-school tuition. In all, prosecutors say, Mr. Weisselberg concealed around $1.8 million in taxable income and evaded more than $900,000 in taxes.
The grand larceny allegation concerns a much smaller amount of money—around $95,000 in federal tax refunds that prosecutors say the 73-year-old executive illegally obtained in annual sums over a period from 2010 to 2018.
But lawyers said the charge is significant. Grand larceny in the second degree is the highest level felony Mr. Weisselberg faces, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. That’s more than twice as long as the maximum sentence of the other counts, magnifying the pressure on him to cooperate with authorities in a broader fraud probe into Mr. Trump and his business affairs.
Mr. Weisselberg also faces charges of tax fraud and falsifying records, as does the Trump Organization.
Source: WSJ – US News