Manhattan DA brought in Trump Organization comptroller to testify before special grand jury: sources
Jeff McConney testified in the Trump financial inquiry, sources say.
Jeff McConney is one of a number of witnesses who have already appeared before the special grand jury that will decide whether criminal charges are warranted against the former president, his company or one of his employees, the sources said.
McConney, who is senior vice president and comptroller of the Trump Organization, is the first employee of the former president’s company to testify, the sources said, and his testimony is a sign that prosecutors have gone deep into it in the finances of the company.
“Complex accounting issues are critical to this investigation, as is the knowledge and intent of the people at the Trump Organization involved in these transactions,” said Daniel R. Alonso, former Manhattan deputy chief prosecutor and now a practicing partner. private. at Buckley LLP.
“Either way, like this, the two most important people – whether as targets or witnesses – are the company’s chief financial officer and the company’s controller,” Alonso told ABC News.
McConney was mentioned by Trump in his 2004 book, “TRUMP: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life”. In a chapter titled “How to Stay on Top of Your Finances,” Trump describes an interaction he says he had with McConney in the late 1980s, during which Trump implored McConney to always question bills and never accept a contractor’s first offer.
“Jeff gets the message,” Trump wrote, “and does a terrific job. He watches over my results like the money is his.”
As part of his investigation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance also investigated the financial dealings of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, particularly the benefits he received from the Trumps in addition. of his salary, and whether taxes have been paid correctly. such compensation, sources have previously told ABC News.
“If, as has been reported, the DA is targeting Allen Weisselberg, it makes sense to seek testimony from the Controller, who presumably reports to him and works with him every day,” Alonso said.
A spokesperson for Vance declined to comment on the development, but ABC News previously reported that Vance sought to turn Weisselberg into a cooperative witness against Trump and the company.
Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, was interviewed by the district attorney’s office, she told ABC News, and was asked about topics ranging from tuition and cars to l family apartment in which she lived and which the Trump organization allegedly paid for. .
“Some of the questions they were asking were about Allen’s compensation in the Trump Place apartment on Riverside Boulevard,” Jennifer Weisselberg told ABC News in an interview last month.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not respond to an ABC News request for comment.
Vance began investigating Trump’s business practices based on testimony in Congress from Michael Cohen, who served as the former president’s personal lawyer and fixer.
One of the goals of the investigation is to determine whether Trump inflated the value of certain properties to obtain bank loans and deflated the value of those same properties to pay less taxes, sources told ABC News.
Vance has twice fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court for access to eight years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
“This is the continuation of the greatest witch hunt in American history,” Trump said in a statement reacting to news of the special grand jury last month. “It’s purely political and an affront to the nearly 75 million voters who backed me in the presidential election, and it’s pushed by very partisan Democratic prosecutors.”