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Ex-Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury in fraud case

Molly Crane-Newman, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s former finance chief Allen Weisselberg copped to new criminal charges in a lower Manhattan courtroom on Monday — admitting he told lies to the New York attorney general concerning what he knew about the actual size of Trump’s Fifth Avenue penthouse, and when.

In the latest legal setback for the former president’s loyal longtime moneyman, the already-convicted Weisselberg pleaded guilty to two first-degree perjury counts at a brief Manhattan Criminal Court hearing stemming from his testimony in the AG’s investigation into Trump’s real estate empire.

That case recently culminated in staggering judgments against Trump and his company execs, including Weisselberg, totaling nearly half a billion dollars.

Prosecutors at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office charged the Trump Organization’s retired chief financial officer with five counts and, in a plea deal, allowed him to plead guilty to two. They requested he serve another term of five months in jail when he returns to court on April 10.

Weisselberg, who handled the Trump family’s company finances for almost half a century after his hiring as a bookkeeper by Donald Trump’s father, Fred, in the 1970s, ignored a question from the Daily News after the hearing. In a statement, his lawyer, Seth Rosenberg, said he “looks forward to putting this situation behind him.”

The 79-year-old Weisselberg served almost 100 days in jail last year after pleading guilty to criminal tax fraud charges brought by the Manhattan DA related to his work at the Trump Organization. That was separate from both the new perjury case and the AG’s civil fraud lawsuit, in which Trump, his sons Eric and Don Jr, Weisselberg, and former Trump Org controller Jeff McConney were recently found liable for falsely inflating Trump’s net worth by billions and ordered to pay New York state at least $464 million, including interest.

 

Trump is on the hook for most of the mammoth judgment, which he must secure with the court by March 25 as he appeals despite his efforts to shave it down.

As part of his financially crushing Feb. 16 ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron barred Weisselberg from ever handling a company’s finances again and ordered him to pay back half of the $2 million severance he received from the Trump Organization on his way into jail.

“The Trump Organization keeps Weisselberg on a short leash, and it shows,” Engoron wrote, describing the CFO as “a critical player in nearly every instance of fraud” who shouldn’t be compensated for covering up misdeeds.

The CFO’s testimony at the fraud trial was stopped when the AG lawyers notified Engoron of potential omissions. On Monday, he admitted to Judge Laurie Peterson that he lied during the trial and multiple other junctures during the AG’s years-long Trump probe. His plea stemmed from a deposition on Jul. 17, 2020, concerning the value of the Trump Tower triplex, which evidence showed was falsely recorded as three times its size in business deals — ballooning its value by more than $200 million.

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