(NewsNation) — Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO who pleaded guilty to operating a decadeslong scheme to defraud federal, state and local authorities by evading taxes, on Tuesday was sentenced to five months in jail.
Weisselberg, 75, admitted to hiding more than a decade’s worth of extras from his taxable income and later testified against the Trump Organization. He said the practice of using 1099 forms to pay executive bonuses began before he took on the role in 1986.
Using the 1099 form instead of W-2s allowed the company to avoid paying taxes on bonuses and meant executives didn’t have any of the bonus money withheld by the IRS. He said the practice stopped in 2017, around the time Trump took office.
He linked former President Donald Trump to the illegal tax practice, claiming Trump or his sons liked to sign bonus checks handed out to key employees at Christmas.
He also testified that Trump, or sometimes Donald Trump Jr. or Eric Trump, wrote him a check for his grandchildren’s private school tuition, totaling about $100,000, an amount that was later deducted from his salary, lowering his tax burden.
A Manhattan jury found the Trump Organization guilty of criminal tax fraud last month. The convictions carry fines totaling up to $1.7 million, ABC News reported.
When he begins serving his sentence, Weisselberg is expected to be locked up at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex. He will be eligible for release after little more than three months if he behaves behind bars.
As part of the plea agreement, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan also ordered Weisselberg to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest — which he has paid as of Jan. 3. Additionally, the judge ordered Weisselberg to complete five years of probation after his jail term is finished.
The Associated Press and NewsNation writer Steph Whiteside contributed to this report.