Ex-Trump CFO Weisselberg gets 5 months in jail for perjury at fraud trial

Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty last month to charges he lied about former President Donald Trump’s finances.

Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is handcuffed after he was sentenced by a US judge
Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is handcuffed after he was sentenced by Judge Laurie Peterson to five months in jail, in Manhattan Criminal Court, New York City, April 10 [Jane Rosenberg/Reuters]

A New York judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to five months in prison for lying about former US President Donald Trump’s finances.

Judge Laurie Peterson handed down the sentence at a brief hearing in Manhattan criminal court. It came after Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of perjury in connection with a civil fraud lawsuit that New York state Attorney General Letitia James brought against Trump, Weisselberg and other executives at Trump’s family real estate company; James accused the company of inflating property values to mislead buyers and insurers.

The former executive admitted that he lied when he testified that he had little knowledge of how company realtors came to list Trump’s Manhattan penthouse on financial statements at nearly three times its actual size, manipulating the price.

Asked if he wanted to address the court on Wednesday, Weisselberg, wearing a black windbreaker and a face mask, responded, “No, your honour.” He was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

The sentence represents the second stint behind bars for the former president’s longtime deputy, who worked for Trump’s family for half a century.

Weisselberg spent nearly three months in New York’s Rikers Island jail in 2023 after pleading guilty to participating in a 15-year tax fraud scheme at the Trump Organization.

Weisselberg testified at the trial on October 10 that he had no involvement in the valuation of Trump’s Manhattan townhouse.

Trump’s 2015 and 2016 financial statements valued the unit at $327m, based on its stated size of more than 2,787sq metres (30,000sq feet), nearly three times the actual size.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which brought the charges against Weisselberg, said the former CFO’s emails showed he was, in fact, paying close attention to the apartment.

Weisselberg also admitted to lying about his role in Trump’s financial statements during two earlier depositions with James’s office.

James’s investigation culminated in a $454m penalty imposed on Trump for fraudulently valuing properties. Trump is appealing the order by Justice Arthur Engoron.

Engoron also ordered Weisselberg to pay $1.1m, including interest.

Meanwhile, Trump is set to go on trial on Monday on criminal charges of covering up a $130,000 hush-money payment.

The former president, who is seeking re-election in November and is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, has denied any wrongdoing.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in four separate criminal cases against him.

In addition to the hush money case, he faces two indictments related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden, as well as allegations that he mishandled secret government documents.

Source: News Agencies