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Who is Jeffrey McConney, witness in Trump’s criminal trial and co-defendant in civil fraud case?

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(NEW YORK) — Prosecutors in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial called Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization’s longtime controller, as their next witness on Monday.


McConney allegedly received and processed nearly a dozen fraudulent invoices from Michael Cohen to reimburse him for paying Stormy Daniels a $130,000 hush money payment just days ahead of the 2016 election.

Prosecutors allege that Trump disguised the reimbursement as legal expenses to hide the hush-money payment from voters.

McConney served as the Trump Organization’s controller for more than 20 years before leaving the company with a $500,000 severance payment amid multiple criminal and civil investigations.

Earlier this year, McConney was also found liable for committing a decade of business fraud with his co-defendants Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Allen Weisselberg. Judge Arthur Engoron permanently banned McConney from running the finances of a New York company, though McConney was the only one of his co-defendants not to be fined in the civil case.

In his order, Engoron described McConney’s credibility as “compromised” based on his testimony in the civil trial.

McConney initially denied that Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO, asked for his help committing tax fraud, but later admitted that Weisselberg asked for help committing tax fraud on multiple occasions. Engoron also found that McConney’s testimony about hiding information from the Trump Organization’s accountants was “belied” by the testimony of other witnesses during the trial.

Despite the problems with Trump’s financial statements – the fraudulent documents at the center of the civil trial – McConney testified that, “I feel great. I have no problems with the work I did on this.”

McConney broke down to tears at one point of his testimony during the civil trial after a defense lawyer asked about why he left the Trump Organization.

“I just couldn’t do it anymore,” McConney testified, reminiscing about the family-like feel of the Trump Organization and frequent outings with Weisselberg. “I just wanted to relax and stop being accused of misrepresenting assets for the company that I loved working for.”

“I got to do a lot of things normally an accountant wouldn’t be able to do. I’m very proud of the work I did for 35 years,” McConney added while fighting back tears.

McConney is now retired and is receiving a $500,000 severance payment from the Trump Organization. When questioned about the agreement, McConney could not recall if the severance agreement — like Weisselberg’s severance agreement — prevented voluntary cooperation with investigations adverse to the Trump Organization.

McConney was referenced in Trump’s criminal indictment as the “TO Controller” and had a significant role in dictating how Michael Cohen’s invoices were processed by the Trump Organization.

Prosecutors allege that Trump falsified business records in 2017 when he classified Michael Cohen’s reimbursement for a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels as legal expenses pursuant to a retainer agreement. Trump’s 34 criminal counts are based on the 12 ledger entries, 11 checks, and 11 invoices processed by the Trump Organization in 2017.

According to prosecutors, Cohen emailed his first fraudulent invoice to McConney on Feb. 14, 2017.

“Pursuant to the retainer agreement, kindly remit payment for services rendered for the months of January and February, 2017,” Cohen wrote in the email to McConney to prosecutors.

McConney approved the payment and sent the invoice to an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization with the instruction to “Post to legal expenses. Put ‘retainer for the months of January and February 2017′” according to prosecution.

In his opening statement two weeks ago, defense lawyer Todd Blanche argued that McConney was calling the shots at the Trump Organization and did not involve Trump with the processing of the invoices.

“He’s not gonna say he talked to President Trump about it. He’s not going to say that he called the White House and interrupted a meeting as President Trump was running the country and said: Hey, we got this invoice, I know we’re trying to cover it up here. Absolutely not,” Blanche said.

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