Skip to main content

Ex-Trump Organization CFO pleads guilty to perjury charges

Share

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg admitted on Monday to testifying falsely to the attorney general about his knowledge of the size of Donald Trump’s apartment triplex and how the value of that apartment was inflated on Trump’s financial statements for years based on the incorrect square footage.

Weisselberg also admitted to testifying falsely at the civil fraud trial last fall, though that is not among the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

Per his agreement with prosecutors, Weisselberg did not plead guilty to perjury at Trump’s civil fraud trial over the triplex and the parties agreed he wouldn’t be sentenced for that conduct that could be considered a violation of his parole in connection to his 2022 guilty plea.

The former Trump Org. CFO answered questions from Judge Laurie Peterson confirming his plea. Weisselberg told the judge he is pleading guilty because he is guilty.

In reviewing the plea agreement, prosecutor Gary Fishman said they considered Weisselberg’s age in not recommending more than five months in prison but said prison time was necessary as the harm caused by perjury “tears at the very fabric” of the justice system.

Weisselberg will be sentenced on April 10.

Under the terms of the deal with prosecutors, Weisselberg will be sentenced to five months in jail – a deal identical to the prior arrangement he made. In the previous case he served about 100 days.

Earlier Monday, Weisselberg declined to comment to CNN. Seth Rosenberg, an attorney for Weisselberg, also declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said “it is a crime to lie in depositions and at trial – plain and simple,” adding that the former Trump Organization official is “being held responsible for his conduct.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, accused Bragg of committing “prosecutorial misconduct.”

Weisselberg had been in plea talks with Manhattan prosecutors for several weeks relating to his testimony taken during the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into the former president in 2020 and when he testified last year, several people familiar with the investigation said.

As part of the plea talks, Weisselberg was not expected to turn on Trump and will not testify against him at the New York criminal hush money case scheduled to start later this month, the people said.

Trump is indicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment and reimbursement before the 2016 presidential election. Weisselberg was central to the financial dealings but neither prosecutors nor Trump’s attorneys said they plan to call him as a witness. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

It is the second guilty plea by Weisselberg, who in 2022 pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax fraud and testified in the trial of two Trump Org. entities. Weisselberg was credited with giving truthful testimony and the entities were convicted and fined. The judge sentenced Weisselberg to five months in jail and supervised release. He served about 100 days in Rikers Island jail.

The latest charges are a blow personally for Weisselberg, who is in his late 70s with medical issues. Last month, the New York state judge overseeing the attorney general’s civil case found Weisselberg liable for fraud and ordered him to pay $1 million plus interest, roughly half of the $2 million severance he received from the Trump Org.

In the hush money case, Weisselberg helped arrange the reimbursement to Michael Cohen, the ex-president’s former lawyer, who advanced $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public about an affair with Trump. Trump has denied the affair.

The payment initially drew scrutiny of federal prosecutors who gave Weisselberg limited immunity for his testimony before a federal grand jury. Prosecutors moved forward with charges against Cohen.

“Because the Trump Organization is a privately held company, had I remained silent and stayed on Donald’s desired messaging, none of this would have been exposed,” Cohen told CNN. Cohen was investigated by federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to multiple charges in 2018. He did not cooperate with the federal investigation. However, he did cooperate with the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation and is expected to testify against Trump at the trial later this month.

This story and headline have been updated with additional information

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

'Rust' armourer gets 18 months in prison for fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin on set

A movie weapons supervisor was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western film "Rust," during a hearing Monday in which tearful family members and friends gave testimonials that included calls for justice and a punishment that would instill greater accountability for safety on film sets.

Here's what to expect in the 2024 federal budget

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will be presenting the 2024 federal budget on Tuesday, revealing how the federal Liberal government intends to balance the nearly $40 billion in pre-announced new spending with her vow to remain fiscally prudent.

Donald Trump hush money trial, explained

All of Donald Trump's trials and the characters involved make for a complicated legal mess, particularly when the four criminal cases are added to Trump's civil liability for defamation and sexual misconduct and for business fraud. Here's what to know to get up to speed on this first criminal trial, starting April 15, 2024.

Local Spotlight

'It was surreal': Ontario mother gives birth to son on day of solar eclipse

For many, Monday's total solar eclipse will become a distant memory or collection of photos to scroll through in the years to come. But for Alannah Duarte and her family, they'll be reminded of the rare celestial event every year they celebrate their youngest son's birthday, as he was born on the day of the momentous occasion.