Trump Organization execs paint different pictures during tax fraud testimony

New York, New York - An executive for the Trump Organization testified that he was afraid he would lose his job if he spoke out about an alleged tax fraud scheme taking place within the company, while its former financial advisor made some startling admissions.

An executive for Donald Trump's Trump Organization testified that he feared losing his job for speaking out about alleged tax fraud scheme.
An executive for Donald Trump's Trump Organization testified that he feared losing his job for speaking out about alleged tax fraud scheme.  © Collage: CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & David Becker/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

Jeffrey McConney, the current senior vice president and controller for the Trump Organization, admitted to helping his fellow employees file false taxes. He was granted immunity for the trial and took the opportunity to throw his colleagues under the bus.

"I thought if I started refusing or fighting back, I'd probably lose my job," he shared.

He went on to place most of the blame on former finance chief Allen Weisselberg, who pled guilty to his participation in the scheme back in September.

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"Allen was my boss. Who was I going to tell?" McConney continued. "I wasn't going to confront him with it. I wasn't going to argue. I was going to do what he told me to do."

As a part of a plea bargain, Weisselberg agreed to testify in the trial, making him the prosecution's star witness. In exchange, he will get a reduced five-month prison sentence. He made his first appearance on the stand on Tuesday.

The Trump Organization is on trial for allegedly helping executives in the company cheat on their taxes between 2005 and 2018.

Lawyers for the company have argued that Weisselberg acted alone, but prosecutors hope to prove that others were involved, including former President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his family.

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Jeffrey McConney previously testified that Trump's name was mentioned in conversations with Weisselberg about the scheme, but on Monday, he seemingly walked back the claim.

When asked by attorneys whether Trump was involved in signing off on invoices relevant to the scheme, McConney said, "That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a stack and just signs them."

"If he had a stack on his desk, I don’t know if he’s looking at invoices or just approving them," he added.

Prosecutors later argued that McConney was consistently being evasive in his answers, causing Judge Juan Manuel Merchan to declare him as a hostile witness for the remainder of the trial.

However, there was a stark difference between McConney's testimony on Monday and Weisselberg's on Tuesday, as the latter provided informative responses to most questions hurled his way. He even shared that, despite pleading guilty to partaking in the tax fraud scheme back in September, he was still a senior advisor to the Trump Organization until October.

Weisselberg also admitted that he took a paid leave of absence when stepping away in October, and he is still receiving $640,000 a year from the Trump Organization, the same company he is currently testifying against.

The tax fraud trial will continue on Thursday.

Cover photo: Collage: CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & David Becker/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

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