Ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury charges

The charges resulted from his testimony during Trump's civil fraud trial.

March 4, 2024, 6:59 PM

Allen Weisselberg, the ex-chief financial officer of former President Donald Trump's family real estate company, pleaded guilty Monday to perjury charges resulting from his testimony during Trump's civil fraud trial.

Weisselberg "admits he committed conduct" pertaining to sworn testimony on May 12, 2023, and Oct. 10, 2023, regarding the size of Trump's Fifth Avenue Manhattan triplex.

"Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?" the Manhattan judge asked during Weisselberg's court appearance Monday.

"Yes," Weisselberg replied.

Weisselberg conceded he knowingly misled investigators about his knowledge of the size of the Trump Tower triplex in order to obtain favorable loans, insurance rates and "other economic benefits," according to Gary Fishman, who presented the perjury case for the Manhattan district attorney's office

"Do you admit to all of that?" the judge asked.

"Yes, your honor," Weisselberg said.

Perjury "tears at the very fabric of our justice system," Fishman said.

PHOTO: Allen Howard Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO, arrives for a hearing at the New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Aug. 18, 2022.
Allen Howard Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO, arrives for a hearing at the New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Aug. 18, 2022.
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The judge said that Weisselberg, who turns 77 in August, will be sentenced to five months in jail on April 10. He was released on his own recognizance.

In a statement, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for bringing the charges, saying Bragg "has been on a crusade of vindictive and oppressive pressure leading, today, to a forced plea by Allen H. Weisselberg" and that "innocent Americans cannot continue to be harassed, and we have to save our Country."

"Alvin Bragg continues to waste public resources in a tyrannical attempt to impede President Trump's ongoing ascent to the White House," Trump attorney Christopher Kise said in a statement, adding that the charges "have no place in our justice system."

"It is a crime to lie in depositions and at trial -- plain and simple," said a spokesperson for the Manhattan DA's office. "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."

This is Weisselberg's second criminal conviction after he pleaded guilty in 2022 to evading taxes on nearly $2 million in off-the-books compensation from the Trump Organization, including an apartment, a luxury car and his grandchildren's school tuition. He served three months of a five-month sentence at New York's Rikers Island jail.

As ABC News reported last month, Weisselberg, 75, had been in plea talks with the Manhattan district attorney's office to resolve charges that he lied on the witness stand when he testified in October at the civil trial in which he, Trump, Trump's two adult sons, and another former Trump Organization executive were found liable for fraud.

During his testimony, Weisselberg struggled to explain why Trump's Fifth Avenue Manhattan triplex, which is less than 11,000 square feet in size, was listed on Trump's statements of financial condition as 30,000 square feet.

"It was almost de minimis relative to his net worth, so I didn't really focus on it," Weisselberg said during the trial. "I never even thought about the apartment."

But Forbes magazine published an article following Weisselberg's appearance that accused him of lying under oath and suggested Weisselberg did think about the apartment because he played a key role in trying to convince the magazine the apartment was as big a Trump's financial statements represented.

At the trial, a lawyer with the New York attorney general's office, Louis Solomon, confronted Weisselberg with emails from a Forbes reporter seeking clarity about the apartment's size, as well as a letter signed by Weisselberg certifying the excessive square footage to the Trump Organization's accounting firm at the time, Mazars USA.

"Forbes was right, the triplex was actually only 10,996 right?" Solomon asked.

"Right," Weisselberg finally conceded.

Weisselberg is not expected to be called as a witness in the criminal trial that starts later this month accusing Trump of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied all wrongdoing.

The Manhattan district attorney's office has said in court filings that Weisselberg that advised then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen how to pay off Daniels, and later arranged for Cohen to be paid back in monthly installments.

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