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Former Trump Organization CFO Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months in jail for perjury in New York AG James’ case

Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was sentenced on Wednesday to five months in jail after pleading guilty to lying under oath during his testimony in the civil fraud case brought against former President Trump by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty on March 4 to two counts of perjury. He admitted to lying under oath on three occasions – depositions in July 2020 and May 2023 and on the witness stand at the trial last October – when he testified that he had little knowledge of how Trump’s Manhattan penthouse came to be valued on his financial statements at nearly three times its actual size.

To avoid violating his probation in a separate tax case, however, Weisselberg agreed to plead guilty only to charges related to his 2020 deposition testimony.

Weisselberg, wearing a black windbreaker and a surgical face mask, declined to address the court during the brief sentencing, which lasted less than five minutes. He was swiftly escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs following the proceeding to begin serving his sentence, The Associated Press reported.  

The civil fraud trial ended with Judge Arthur Engoron ruling that Trump and some of his executives had schemed to deceive banks, insurers and others by lying about his wealth on financial statements used to make deals and secure loans. The judge penalized Trump $455 million and ordered Weisselberg to pay $1 million. They are both appealing.

EX-TRUMP ORG CFO ALLEN WEISSELBERG PLEADS GUILTY IN MANHATTAN COURT

Allen Weisselberg, right, stands behind then-President-elect Donald Trump during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

In his decision, Engoron said he found Weisselberg’s testimony “intentionally evasive” and “highly unreliable.”

It will be Weisselberg’s second time behind bars. The former Trump Organization CFO served 100 days last year for dodging taxes on $1.7 million in company perks, including a rent-free Manhattan apartment and luxury cars. He will now again trade life as a Florida retiree for a stay at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex.

Trump’s family employed Weisselberg for nearly 50 years, then gave him a $2 million severance deal when the tax charges prompted him to retire. The company continues to pay his legal bills.

Weisselberg at New York sentencing

Allen Weisselberg, a former longtime executive in former President Trump’s real estate empire, arrives at court in New York, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

FORMER TRUMP ORGANIZATION CFO ALLEN WEISSELBERG SENTENCED TO 5 MONTHS AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO TAX CRIMES

Weisselberg has already testified twice in trials for Trump. His plea agreement does not require him to testify at Trump’s hush money criminal trial, which is scheduled to start with jury selection Monday. In agreeing to a five-month sentence, prosecutors cited Weisselberg’s age and willingness to admit wrongdoing. In New York, perjury is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Prosecutors promised not to prosecute Weisselberg for other crimes he might have committed in connection with his Trump Organization employment.

Trump’s lawyers took issue with Weisselberg’s perjury prosecution, accusing the Manhattan district attorney’s office of deploying “unethical, strong-armed tactics against an innocent man in his late 70s” while turning “a blind eye” to perjury allegations against Michael Cohen, the former Trump lawyer who is now a key prosecution witness in the case against Trump involving hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Weisselberg wears mask heading into sentencing hearing

Allen Weisselberg, a former longtime executive in former President Trump’s real estate empire, arrives for his sentencing in New York on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office and Weisselberg’s lawyer Seth Rosenberg declined to address the court, according to the AP.

Trump valued the penthouse in his financial statements from at least 2012 to 2016 as though it measured 30,000 square feet. A former Trump real estate executive testified that Weisselberg provided the figure. The former executive said that when he asked for the apartment’s size in 2012, Weisselberg replied: “It’s quite large. I think it’s around 30,000 square feet.”

However, state lawyers noted, Weisselberg got an email early in that year with a 1994 document attached that pegged Trump’s apartment at 10,996 square feet. Weisselberg testified that he remembered the email but not the attachment and that he did not “walk around knowing the size” of the apartment.

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After Forbes magazine published an article in 2017 disputing the size of Trump’s penthouse, its estimated value on his financial statement was cut from $327 million to about $117 million.

As Weisselberg was testifying last October, Forbes published an article with the headline “Trump’s Longtime CFO Lied, Under Oath, About Trump Tower Penthouse.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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