The longtime Trump attorney oversaw internal investigations into the Trump Organization’s tax practices in 2017 and 2018, leading the company to “do things differently,” an executive testified Tuesday.
The revelation came in the middle of the second daywas the first witness to be called by the government in the company’s New York criminal .
McConney said the investigation was led by attorney Sheri Dillon.It belonged to then-president-elect Donald Trump, where she and Trump displayed piles of papers they said related to his company’s taxes.
McConney’s testimony was stopped late Tuesday.The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday, November 7th.
In 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office alleges that the former Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, and his company were provided tax-free to certain executives through two corporate entities, the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation. has been indicted in more than 10 criminal prosecutions related to “Indirect Employee Compensation”. Weisselberg said he pleaded guilty in the case in August. The company has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Susan Hoffinger said in her opening statement Monday that executives at the company have been evading taxes for years, but “the evidence is that Donald Trump was elected president at the end of 2016. When will these companies finally show that they had to clean up these fraudulent tax practices.”
McConney said Tuesday that Dillon, a tax accountant at law firm Morgan Lewis who has worked on issues related to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, left the company in 2017 for Trump’s inauguration. He said he was brought in afterward.
Prosecutors asked Dillon “basically told you to clear things up with the Trump Organization.”
“She did,” McConney replied.
He said the investigation led to the memo being completed in late 2017 or early 2018.
“I was directed to do something different going forward,” McConney said.
Dillon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When McConney began to explain the memo, attorneys for the Trump Organization objected on the grounds of attorney-client privilege, and the judge called the sidebar.
Prosecutors allege that company executives used a variety of methods to “hide” extravagant profits from tax authorities going back to at least 2005.
Attorneys for the company said in an opening statement Monday that Weisselberg was the only one who hid that he didn’t pay taxes on benefits.
Weisselberg will be called as a witness during the trial. Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to the case in August, agreed to testify as part of a plea bargain. He is scheduled to be sentenced after a trial that is expected to last up to six weeks.
McConney testified Monday that his personal attorney was paid by the Trump Organization and that he met with the company’s criminal defense attorney and others on Sunday.
The prosecutor’s request to treat him as an adversary witness was denied by Judge Juan Merchan.