According to a report by Fortune on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg took the witness stand on Tuesday in the civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump and his company, the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg, who was recently released from jail after serving 100 days for tax fraud, testified about his role in preparing Trump’s annual financial statements and the conversations he had with Trump while finalizing the documents.
The civil trial, which began last week in Manhattan, is brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accuses Trump and his company of inflating the value of their assets to secure loans and insurance and deflating them to reduce taxes.
James is seeking to dissolve the Trump Organization and strip Trump of his properties, including Trump Tower and his golf courses.
Weisselberg, who worked for Trump for nearly four decades, was a key figure in the scheme, according to James.
She alleges that Weisselberg engineered Trump’s financial statements to meet his demands that they show increases in his net worth and signed off on lofty valuations for assets despite appraisals to the contrary.
Weisselberg testified that he was responsible for preparing the financial statements, which were given to banks, insurers, and others to make deals and secure loans.
He said that he would discuss the statements with Trump before they were finalized and that Trump would sometimes ask him to change the numbers or include additional information.
Weisselberg also admitted that he did not follow accounting standards or consult with independent auditors when preparing the statements.
He said that he relied on his own judgment and experience, as well as on information provided by Trump and his associates.
Weisselberg’s testimony contradicted Trump’s own testimony last week when he denied any involvement in the preparation of the financial statements and said that he trusted Weisselberg to handle them.
Trump also claimed that he did not inflate or deflate the value of his assets and that he had appraisals to back up his claims.
Trump, who attended the first three days of the trial, did not return to court to see Weisselberg testify.
He has dismissed the lawsuit as a political witch hunt by James, a Democrat who has been vocal about her opposition to him.
The civil trial is expected to last for several weeks and will feature more witnesses and evidence from both sides.
The outcome of the trial could have significant implications for Trump’s political and business future, as well as for his ongoing criminal investigations by James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who are also looking into his financial dealings.