Allen H. Weisselberg, a longtime top executive at Donald Trump’s family business who was indicted on tax charges last summer, is nearing a plea deal with prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office but would not cooperate with a broader investigation into Trump, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
His plea deal, if finalized, would bring prosecutors no closer to indicting the former president but would nonetheless brand one of his most trusted lieutenants a felon.
On Monday, Weisselberg’s lawyers and prosecutors met with the judge overseeing the case, according to a court database. The judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday in Weisselberg’s case, a possible indication that a deal has been reached and a plea could be entered then.
While Weisselberg, 75, is facing financial penalties as well as years in prison if convicted at trial, a plea deal would scrap a high-profile trial and most likely would spare him from a lengthy sentence. One person with knowledge of the matter said that Weisselberg was expected to receive a five-month prison sentence, an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.
The other terms of Weisselberg’s deal were not clear, and his lawyer, Nicholas A. Gravante Jr., confirmed he was in discussions with prosecutors but declined to discuss the specifics. Another lawyer for Weisselberg, Mary E. Mulligan, declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg.
The district attorney’s long-running criminal investigation continued after Weisselberg was charged with taking part in a 15-year scheme to receive off-the-books perks at Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, which was also indicted in the case.
Prosecutors have long hoped they could persuade Weisselberg to testify against Trump, given his decades in the employ of the Trump family and his vast knowledge of the company and its business practices. But Weisselberg has refused to meet with them even as his lawyers negotiated a potential deal, the people with knowledge of the matter said.
A plea agreement for Weisselberg could leave Trump’s company to face trial in the tax case alone. A deal would also be likely to draw renewed attention to the status of the district attorney’s criminal investigation of Trump and his company’s business practices, which lost momentum early this year and has largely disappeared from public view.
Bragg, a Democrat, has said the investigation is continuing. But its direction and future are unclear. Trump has himself not been accused of wrongdoing.