Former Trump exec Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury

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Former Trump exec Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury



Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg attends a hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court on March 4, 2024 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty Monday to perjury charges related to his testimony in the New York civil fraud trial against Donald Trump and his company.

Weisselberg, 76, appeared in Manhattan criminal court handcuffed and wearing a face mask and pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree perjury. He was initially charged with five counts.

The Manhattan district attorney recommended that a judge sentence Weisselberg to five months in prison. The prosecutor agreed to allow Weisselberg’s release before his April 10 sentencing.

If Weisselberg violates his release conditions, his sentence could be increased to up to seven years in prison, NBC News reported.

“It is a crime, plain and simple, to lie in depositions and in court,” a spokesman for the DA’s office said in a statement later Monday morning.

Weisselberg “looks forward to putting this situation behind him,” his attorney, Seth Rosenberg, said in a statement.

The indictment accuses Weisselberg of lying during a deposition and later testimony in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Trump economic fraud trial.

Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg appears for a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court on March 4, 2024, in New York City.

Curis means | Getty Images

James’ lawsuit accused Trump, his adult sons, his company and his top executives of fraudulently misrepresenting Trump’s assets in years of business filings to boost Trump’s net worth and obtain other financial benefits.

After his testimony in court in October, Forbes magazine accused Weisselberg of lying under oath when he claimed he had paid no attention to the appraisal of Trump’s penthouse apartment.

With his guilty plea on Monday, Weisselberg admitted to two counts of lying about the size of Trump’s triplex apartment during a 2020 deposition, according to the DA’s office.

As part of his plea agreement, Weisselberg also admitted conduct related to three additional counts of perjury involving false statements made in a May 2023 deposition and his testimony in court.

Weisselberg “took an oath to tell the truth and then committed perjury, both in testimony during the New York Attorney General’s investigation and proceedings and at her recent trial,” the DA’s office said in a statement Monday.

“Today, Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to this crime and will be held accountable for his conduct.”

The New York Times reported in early February that Weisselberg was in negotiations to plead guilty to lying on the witness stand in the fraud trial.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who presided over the trial, ordered lawyers in the case to disclose details related to the Times report. A defense attorney responded that the judge’s request was “unprecedented, inappropriate and disturbing.”

Trump is appealing Engoron’s ruling that ordered the former president to pay more than $454 million in fines and interest for submitting fraudulent information about his assets in years of financial filings. Trump’s post-ruling interest will increase by nearly $112,000 per day until paid.

Trump is facing well over half a billion dollars in penalties as he fights for another term in the White House.

Weisselberg has already pleaded guilty once in connection with his work for the Trump Organization. He was sentenced to five months in prison in New York after pleading guilty to tax fraud charges filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. After three months behind bars, he was released from the notorious Rikers Island prison in April 2023.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.



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2024-03-04 16:42:41

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