A note on Donald Trump’s personal ledger was removed by his company before a copy was handed over to a grand jury investigating the Trump Organization for fraud, a company executive acknowledged in court Thursday.
The revelation came during the third day of swearing-in by Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConkey, who had an appearance at the company’s New York criminology.then stalled for more than a week on November 1.
McConkey was shown a page of Trump’s ledger – an account of expenses paid out of Trump’s personal treasury – provided to prosecutors by the accounting firm Mazarus USA. At the bottom of a ledger entry for a 2012 payment of more than $30,000 to a private school, the phrase “per Allen Weiselberg” appears, referring to the company’s former chief financial officer, which was released in August.for fraud and tax evasion.
McConkey is then shown a copy of the same 2012 personal ledger page that was provided by the Trump Organization to a Manhattan grand jury in 2021. The phrase “per Alan Weiselberg” seems to be missing.
“Anyone can go into the system in a general ledger program, you can change the details,” McConkey testified.
“Are you saying that someone went in and removed the phrase ‘Per Alan Weiselberg’?” asked prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.
“Yes,” replied McConkey. On further enquiry, McConkey could not tell who deleted the entry.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office charged the Trump Organization and Weiselberg in 2021 with more than a dozen criminal cases related to allegations that some officials were provided with “indirect” compensation in the form of luxury benefits, including Manhattan apartments and private school tuition. was. The company maintains its innocence on all charges.
McConkey was the first witness called to the stand by prosecutors, but his testimony was abruptly halted during the second day of trial on November 1, when his positive COVID test came in. Earlier that day, McConkey testified that the US president in 2017 after Trump took office, a longtime lawyer for the company.Regarding the company’s tax practices, the Trump Organization “for doing things differently.”
Steinglass then asked if the review “changed some of the practices that led to these allegations?”
McConkey said, “Yes, sir.”
Prosecutors allege that company executives used a variety of methods to “hide” luxury benefits from tax officials for more than a decade.
One method alleged by prosecutors is that officers were paid partially each year as if they were independent contractors for various Trump Organization entities.
McConkey said Thursday that at one point a Mazar accountant told him not to pay a Trump Organization lawyer this way because “there was concern that[he]might lose his legal license.”
“did [the accountant] Let me tell you he was not a ‘fan’ of this practice for any of the employees?” Steinglass asked.
“I believe that’s the word he used, yes,” replied McConkey.
McConkey said Thursday that the company discontinued this payment practice in 2017 or 2018. Asked by Steinglass whether the “2017 cleanup” was triggered by Trump becoming president, McConkey said he believed it was a “coincidence”.
“Nobody told me specifically that this change was because Mr. Trump became President Trump,” McConkey said.
In February, Mazars USA informed the Trump Organization that it wasTrump and his businesses lined up, writing in a letter to the company that they “shouldn’t be trusted anymore.” Mazars cited information revealed in a law enforcement investigation as the reason for his decision to cut ties with the Trump Organization.
Company lawyers said in their initial statements that there was no company fraud scheme, but instead only Weiselberg concealed that he was not paying taxes on the profits.
Weiselberg, who agreed as part of his plea to testify in the case, is expected to be called as a witness during the trial. They will be sentenced after the company’s trial.