Ex-Trump Organization CFO pleads guilty to perjury charges

Ex-Trump Organization CFO pleads guilty to perjury charges
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The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization on Monday pleaded guilty to perjury charges stemming from his testimony in former President Trump’s civil fraud trial.

Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime financial gatekeeper, was charged with five felony counts of perjury. He pleaded guilty to two counts Monday for lying during a 2020 deposition as the New York attorney general’s office built its civil fraud case against the Trump Organization.

As part of the plea deal, he also admitted he lied in his trial testimony and during another deposition last year, without pleading guilty to those charges.

The ex-Trump Organization executive surrendered Monday morning to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He entered state court later Monday in handcuffs and wearing a mask. A New York judge said he will be sentenced to five months in jail, the amount of time prosecutors requested.

“Allen Weisselberg looks forward to putting this situation behind him,” Seth Rosenberg, Weisselberg’s lawyer, said in a statement.

Weisselberg was a defendant alongside Trump in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s sweeping civil fraud case against the former president and his business for conspiring to alter Trump’s net worth for tax and insurance benefits.

The top executive was ordered to pay more than $1.1 million, plus interest, and barred for three years from serving in top leadership positions in any New York corporation or business entity. He was also barred for life from serving “in the financial control function” of any New York business.

The charges Weisselberg pleaded guilty to stemmed from a July 17, 2020, deposition with the attorney general’s office, where state lawyers questioned him over Trump’s Manhattan triplex. The Trump Tower triplex was listed on the former president’s financial statements as 30,000 square feet in size — despite actually being less than 11,000 square feet.

Weisselberg told the lawyers in 2020 that he “didn’t find out about the error” in sizing until Forbes reported it. He also told the lawyers he was never present when Trump described the size of the triplex.

Both remarks were not true, he has now admitted. The size of Trump’s triplex apartment was “material” to the attorney general’s investigation, prosecutors with the district attorney’s office said in charging documents.

The inquiry into Weisselberg’s perjury was spurred by his October testimony in the civil fraud trial. He admitted Monday, without pleading guilty, to falsely testifying then that he “never focused on” Trump’s Manhattan triplex.

But after Weisselberg testified, Forbes published an article accusing him of lying under oath, citing years-old correspondence between the magazine and Trump Organization executive.

“A review of old emails and notes, some of which the attorney general’s office does not possess, show that Weisselberg absolutely thought about Trump’s apartment—and played a key role in trying to convince Forbes over the course of several years that it was worth more than it really was,” Forbes wrote in its Oct. 12 article.

When confronted by state lawyers about the Forbes article, Weisselberg conceded that the triplex in the former president’s 5th Avenue Trump Tower was only 10,996 square feet.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said Weisselberg’s plea holds him responsible for his false statements.

“It is a crime to lie in depositions and at trial — plain and simple,” the spokesperson said. “Allen Weisselberg took an oath to be truthful, and then committed perjury both at depositions during the New York State Attorney General’s Investigation and Proceeding, as well as at their recent trial. Today, Allen Weisselberg is pleading guilty to this felony and being held responsible for his conduct.”

The Hill requested comment from the New York attorney general’s office.

Weisselberg’s formal sentencing is scheduled for April 10.

The former CFO previously pleaded guilty in 2022 to evading almost $2 million in taxes over a decade through backchannel compensation from the Trump Organization, including free rent in a Manhattan apartment, a luxury car and his grandchildren’s school tuition. He was sentenced to five months at the Rikers Island jail and served nearly 100 days there.

His latest plea agreement with the Manhattan district attorney’s office comes just weeks before Trump is expected to stand trial on charges he falsified business records to cover up a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

Weisselberg is not expected to cooperate against Trump, according to multiple reports.

That trial will mark the former president’s first criminal prosecution — and the first criminal prosecution of any former American president.

The Associated Press contributed.

Updated at noon.

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