Ex-Trump Organization CFO to be sentenced today for lying under oath during Trump’s civil fraud trial

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Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg will be sentenced today for lying under oath during Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial.

The 76-year-old longtime Trump executive is expected to be handed a five-month sentence in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday morning – sending him back to the notorious Rikers Island prison for a second time over his loyalty to the former president.

Weisselberg previously served 100 days last year for tax-dodging through perks he received as an employee of the Trump Organization.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to perjury charges after admitting he lied while giving testimony to investigators examining the real estate company’s finances.

He had been charged with five counts of perjury in the first degree, but he reached a plea deal with prosecutors which saw him plead guilty to two of those five counts.

Under the terms of the deal, he will be sentenced to five months in jail.

Weisselberg is expected to report to Rikers Island immediately after the sentencing hearing to begin his sentence.

The agreement with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office required Weisselberg’s admission that he lied during his testimony to investigators in a deposition last May and in his October interviews with the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James regarding his former employer’s business practices.

Weisselberg is not now expected to turn on Mr Trump or be called as a witness against him in the latter’s upcoming criminal case, which was brought against him by Mr Bragg and is scheduled to begin on Monday 15 April.

The district attorney indicted Mr Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, a year ago on 34 charges related to the falsification of business records to conceal “hush money” payments made on his behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election in order to secure her silence about an extramarital affair they are alleged to have had a decade earlier. Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Donald Trump and Allen Weisselberg (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Donald Trump and Allen Weisselberg (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

In a second New York case related to the Trump Organization, Judge Arthur Engoron in February ordered Mr Trump and his associates to pay more than $454m in financial penalties and interest to the state of New York after they were found guilty of misrepresenting the value of company assets between 2011 and 2021 to secure favourable terms from city banks and insurers in a case brought by Ms James.

Mr Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in that case too and has appealed against the verdict, complaining without evidence that he is the victim of a conspiracy to prevent his return to the White House – even comparing his plight to that of the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

Prior to issuing his ruling in that case, Judge Engoron appealed for information regarding the possibility of Weisselberg admitting to perjury after his plea negotiations were reported by The New York Times, provoking an angry row with Mr Trump’s lawyers in which the justice told attorneys Chris Kise and Alina Habba: “You and your co-counsel have been questioning my impartiality since the early days of this case, presumably because I sometimes rule against your clients. That whole approach is getting old.”

Weisselberg’s latest plea deal follows his 2022 conviction on 15 violations of New York tax law, after prosecutors accused him of participating in a years-long “systemic” fraud scheme.

That case involved a “sweeping and audacious illegal payment” arrangement in which Trump companies paid him generous benefits – including free rent, luxury car leases and private school tuition for his grandchildren – that were not reported for tax purposes.

Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison for that offence and spent around 100 days in Rikers Island jail before being released under supervision last April.