Deborah Tarasoff, Trump Trial Witness, Was Linked to Stormy Daniels Deal

Deborah Tarasoff, who is testifying in Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial on Monday, is an accounting department employee at the Trump Organization who is believed to have played a significant role in the reimbursement of a hush-money payment at the center of the trial.

She was asked in February 2017 by senior Trump Organization employees to send $35,000 checks to Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, according to the statement of facts filed by prosecutors as part of Mr. Trump’s indictment. Prosecutors say those checks were to repay Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he gave a porn star, Stormy Daniels, in the final days of the 2016 campaign to keep her from going public with her claim that she had sex with Mr. Trump a decade earlier.

Ms. Tarasoff — identified in the statement of facts only as the company’s accounts payable supervisor — was told to label each of the 11 payments to Mr. Cohen as a “legal expense,” according to prosecutors. They have charged Mr. Trump with falsifying business records, saying that characterization of the payments disguised illegal campaign contributions as legitimate business expenses.

Ms. Tarasoff worked closely at the Trump Organization with Jeffrey S. McConney, the company’s controller, who testified on Monday about being instructed to send payments to Mr. Cohen in 2017. He, too, is mentioned in the statement of facts, but not identified by name.

Ms. Tarasoff also had a small but key role in the Manhattan district attorney office’s tax-fraud case against the Trump Organization, Mr. Trump’s company. She testified that she knew about fringe benefits being paid to Allen H. Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer.

The Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud in December 2022. Mr. Trump himself was not charged.

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