Donald Trump
Everything To Know As The Trump Organization Tax Fraud Trial Begins Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeffrey McConney, one of former President Donald Trump’s top moneymen, admitted Thursday to breaking the law. He did so to help fellow Trump Organization executives avoid taxes on perks and company-paid apartments.

He helped in preparing misleading tax returns and failed to report the benefits to tax authorities, reported ABC News. The Senior Vice President and Controller testified at the Trump Organization's criminal tax fraud trial that he filed false tax returns on behalf of a father-son executive duo. Their Manhattan apartment rents were paid by the Trump Organization.

McConney was granted immunity to testify as a prosecution witness. He also testified that a few years before Trump became the President, the firm's accountant raised concerns about the way it paid out holiday bonuses. It was a topic that has consumed hours of trial testimony.

Trump's company through which the former President owns hotels, golf courses and other assets, is accused of helping some of the top executives avoid income taxes on compensation they got apart from their salaries. Trump's company has denied wrongdoing, but could be fined more than $1 million if convicted.

Its legal team alleged that a top executive -- longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg -- went rogue. He allegedly concocted the scheme without Trump or the Trump family’s knowledge and lied to the firm about what he’d done. Trump Organization attorney Susan Necheles focused on Weisselberg as she questioned McConney on cross-examination Thursday afternoon. She showed emails that indicated that McConney needed to get permission from Weisselberg to complete even simple tasks. They involved approving a $100 expenditure or writing a few sentences to describe the ice rinks that the company managed in Central Park.

McConney said that Weisselberg, who was his boss for years, had wide latitude over the company's operations. The latter, who earlier pleaded guilty to taking $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, had agreed to testify as a prosecution witness in exchange for a five-month jail sentence.

The trial resumed Thursday after more than a week delay while McConney and the judge, Juan Manuel Merchan recovered from coronavirus. McConney's positive Covid test on Nov. 1 put the trial on hold a day after it started, reported NBC News.

Meanwhile, on Monday he was declared a hostile witness as he sought to absolve his employer of criminal wrongdoing for a multi-year tax fraud scheme by pinning it all on Weisselberg. Jurors learned that he has been in close contact with Trump Organization lawyers leading up to the trial and throughout his testimony and that the firm is paying his attorney’s fees.

Donald Trump
Former U.S President Donald Trump speaks at a 'Save America' rally on October 22, 2022 in Robstown, Texas. The former president, alongside other Republican nominees and leaders held a rally where they energized supporters and voters ahead of the midterm election. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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