Former President Donald Trump in New York City. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jeffrey McConney, executive at Trump Organization, testified twice before the grand jury.
He is the second-in command to CFO Allen Weisselberg. He has been charged with tax fraud.
McConney might be able give the prosecutors a better understanding about the company's finances.
Prosecutors investigating Trump Organization's finances have been unsuccessful in securing the cooperation of Allen Weisselberg (ex-President Donald Trump's chief money man).
They were able to get information from Jeffrey McConney, Trump Organization controller.
McConney has testified to the grand jury that was formed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office at least twice. Together with the New York State attorney general's office, the Manhattan prosecutors are currently investigating the Trump Organization's finances. They will also examine whether or not the company violated any tax, insurance, and bank laws.
In July, the Trump Organization and Weisselberg were charged. Weisselberg, along with attorneys for Trump Organization, pleaded not guilty. The special grand jury investigation is ongoing.
Since 1973, Weisselberg has been working for the family and company of former President Donald Trump. He is arguably more knowledgeable about Trump's finances that anyone on the planet.
Prosecutors tried to "flip” Weisselberg into cooperation with the investigation. Many witnesses, including Michael Cohen, Jennifer Weisselberg and his ex-daughter-in-law, believe that he will eventually cooperate with the investigation. However, there is no indication that the executive is cooperating yet.
According to McConney's LinkedIn profile, McConney has been working for the Trump Organization since 1987. He worked closely with Weisselberg. The CFO stated to investigators at the New York Attorney General's Office that McConney trusted him so much that he would sign documents he had prepared without ever looking at them.
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Weisselberg stated in an interview that "knowing it passed through Jeff McConney who provided the initial information, then he said it was okay to sign it, so I would go ahead with signing these things."
McConney manages the finances of Trump Organization
McConney, 66 years old, is a strong Trump supporter according to all accounts. According to The Daily Beast, McConney is a "rank-and file Republican voter" who sometimes wears Trump-branded neckties. His Marlboro home is just a short drive from Trump's Colt's Neck golf club.
Barbara Res, who was responsible for the construction of Trump Organization projects in the 1980s/90s, and who believes Weisselberg might flip, told Insider McConney handled billing when the two companies overlapped.
Res stated, "We were spending money and someone had to look at what we were spending."
McConney was promoted to become the company's controller, and later became a senior vice-president. According to McConney, in an interview with state investigators in 2017, the Daily Beast reviewed, his team was responsible for processing paperwork for bank loans, tracking checks, maintaining tax documents, and preparing Trump's financial statements. Weisselberg revealed that McConney prepared tax returns for Trump's charity organization in 2017.
Allen Weisselberg, Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, in September AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
For its July indictment of the Trump Organization, and Weisselberg, Prosecutors gathered at least 6,000,000 pages of evidence. A lot of the evidence is subpoenaed financial records, experts say including tax returns and preparation documents. McConney might be able walk through these documents for grand jurors or prosecutors.
McConney and Weisselberg spoke to the New York Attorney General's Office in order to investigate the Trump Foundation. After an investigation revealed that Trump had used the funds for his political career, and his personal gain, the charity was closed down in 2019.
McConney was the foundation's day-to-day manager. According to The Daily Beast, McConney told investigators that $120,000 was improperly used to pay fines or settle lawsuits for Trump. McConney also stated that he regrets a $25,000 payment to Pam Bondi's political campaign. He declined, as Florida attorney general, to investigate fraud claims against Trump University.
McConney stated, "Everything and everything that could go wrong did."
He is connected to Trump's 2016 campaign
Weisselberg claims that McConney leapt to support Trump's presidential campaign.
McConney and Weisselberg tagged along with Trump in January 2016. Instead of hosting a fundraiser for veterans' charities, McConney hosted it.
"I asked Jeff McConney whether he would like to go along with me. He said yes," Weisselberg stated to investigators in 2017. He grabbed the checkbook.
Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, speaks to veterans at Drake University on Jan 28, 2016, in Des Moines (Iowa). Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
McConney collaborated with Brad Parscale (then the digital director for Trump's campaign) to create a fundraising website. Cory Lewandowski was Trump's campaign manager at that time. He helped McConney select charities to send money to using emails obtained from investigators and reviewed in Insider.
McConney's youngest son was arguably Trump's greatest contribution: Instructions on how to use Twitter.
Justin McConney was the Trump Organization's social media manager between 2011-2017. He spoke out to Politico about how he encouraged Trump using the app.
McConney, younger, said that Trump's discovery of tweeting was similar to Dr. Grant's realization in "Jurassic Park" that velociraptors could unlock doors. "I was like, "Oh no."
McConney was a witness twice before the Manhattan grand juries. He is also allegedly mentioned in the charging documents
McConney was brought by the prosecution to testify before grand jurors twice in July and September.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office disclosures, McConney had obeyed a subpoena at least once of those times. The Trump Organization had previously requested that courts block subpoenas from prosecutors, including documentation related to McConney's works. However, the Supreme Court ruled that McConney must comply in February.
New York state law provides that witnesses who are subpoenaed for testimony before grand juries receive "transactional immunity," which prevents prosecutions of crimes related to what they testify. McConney may still be subject to criminal charges if he and the prosecutors reached a cooperation agreement before he was subpoenaed.
Patricia Pileggi (an attorney representing McConney) did not respond to Insider's requests.
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images
McConney was also mentioned by the prosecution in their July indictment. McConney is the "Unindicted co-conspirator #1", according to Wall Street Journal. He "agreed and implemented" a compensation program that prosecutors claim underreported Weisselberg’s income and allowed him avoid certain taxes.
McConney was also reported to have appeared in the 2017 federal charges that New York prosecutors brought against Cohen. Cohen was a lawyer for Trump Organization at the time and paid two women to pay Cohen off for their claims of affairs with Trump. This was in order to keep them silent ahead of the election.
Cohen pleaded guilty to 2018 campaign finance charges related to the payments to Stormy Dans and Karen McDougal. Manhattan prosecutors are said be investigating whether the payments were also in violation of state campaign finance laws.
Federal prosecutors stated in their indictment that at least one of these payments was processed by two Trump Organization executives. Cohen said that one of the two was Weisselberg; McConney, according the Journal.
Business Insider has the original article.