Former Trump chief financial officer pleads guilty to perjury

4 March 2024, 17:04

Trump-Fraud Lawsuit-Weisselberg
Trump-Fraud Lawsuit-Weisselberg. Picture: PA

Allen Weisselberg will be sentenced to five months in jail.

Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s company, has pleaded guilty in New York to perjury in connection with testimony he gave in the ex-president’s civil fraud case.

Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and will be sentenced to five months in jail – which would be his second stint behind bars after 100 days last year in an unrelated tax fraud case.

The pleas related to testimony he gave at a July 2020 deposition in New York attorney general Letitia James’ case against Mr Trump, but in court on Monday he also admitted, without pleading guilty, to lying on the witness stand at the former president’s civil fraud trial last autumn.

Prosecutors accused Weisselberg of lying under oath in the case about allegations that Mr Trump lied about his wealth on financial statements given to banks and insurance companies.

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

Election 2024 Trump
Former president Donald Trump (Steve Helber/AP)

After The New York Times reported last month that Weisselberg was in negotiations to plead guilty to perjury, Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over the fraud trial, ordered lawyers to provide details related to the Times’ report.

Mr Trump is appealing against Mr Engoron’s judgment ordering him to pay more than 454 million dollars in fines and interest for submitting fraudulent information about his asset values on years of financial records.

Weisselberg’s new criminal case comes just weeks before Mr Trump is scheduled to stand trial on separate allegations that he falsified business records.

That case involves allegations that Mr Trump falsified company records to cover up hush money payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations that he had extramarital sexual encounters. Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has said Weisselberg had a role in orchestrating the payments, but he has not been charged in that case, and neither prosecutors nor Mr Trump’s lawyers have indicated they will call him as a witness. That trial is scheduled to begin on March 25.

Weisselberg’s case is separate from the criminal case that Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg brought against Mr Trump last year.

Weisselberg previously served 100 days in jail last year after pleading guilty to dodging taxes on 1.7 million dollars in off-the-books compensation from the Trump Organisation. He is still on probation. Prior to that he had no criminal record.

He left New York City’s notorious Rikers Island in April, days after Mr Trump was indicted in his New York hush money criminal case.

Under that plea deal, Weisselberg was required to testify as a prosecution witness when the Trump Organisation was put on trial for helping executives evade taxes.

He did so carefully, laying out the facts of his own involvement in evading taxes but taking care not to implicate Mr Trump, telling jurors that his boss was unaware of the scheme.

By Press Association

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