He arrived in court in handcuffs. Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization and loyal to the former US president, pleaded not guilty to a tax offense Thursday in Manhattan. Lawyers for the company, which is being sued as a legal entity, also pleaded not guilty. And if Donald Trump escapes prosecution for the moment, his holding company could struggle to survive if it is unable to borrow.
Allen Weisselberg is accused of having concealed $ 1.76 million in indirect compensation not declared to the American tax authorities (free rents, tuition fees, vehicles) between 2005 and 2021, or about $ 100,000 per year. The indictment mentions a charge of “organized gang” fraud between the CFO, the Trump organization and the unindicted co-conspirator # 1.
In the indictment, a charge of organized gang fraud between the CFO, the Trump organization and … the “uncharged # 1 co-conspirator”. All eyes obviously on Donald Trump (not necessarily him) pic.twitter.com/Rshdx9YL8E
– Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) July 1, 2021
Bankruptcy risk for Donald Trump’s empire
The crucial question is: is the unnamed individual Donald Trump himself? Several former prosecutors believe that New York justice seeks to pressure Allen Weisselberg with a first series of easily proven charges so that he collaborates with the authorities. With 15 charges of fraud brought against him, he risks, at 73, a heavy prison sentence amounting to years and not months.
If Donald Trump escapes prosecution for the moment, he remains under the threat of a possible future indictment. And in the meantime, it is his empire of hotels and casinos, already shaken by the Covid-19 crisis, which could tremble. In general, banks are indeed more than reluctant to lend to a company accused of financial fraud. And if the creditors of the Trump organization, which already has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans maturing, all ask for repayment, the empire Donald Trump has built could risk bankruptcy.