Former Trump CEO Alan Weiselberg pleads guilty to perjury

NEW YORK (AP) — Alan Weiselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump's company, pleaded guilty Monday to perjury during his testimony in the former president's New York court. A civil fraud case. His plea deal would send him back to prison, but would not require him to testify in Trump's hush-money criminal trial.

Weiselberg, 76, pleaded guilty in state court in Manhattan to two counts of perjury and will be sentenced in April to five months in prison — his second stint after 100 days in jail last year for evading taxes on company benefits.

In pleading guilty, Weiselberg was once again torn between the law and loyalty to Trump, whose family employed him for nearly 50 years and sent him into retirement with a $2 million severance. His perjury is further evidence that he was willing to spend part of his golden years back in jail rather than testify truthfully to the detriment of his old employer.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office said in a statement, “Lying at the polls and at trial is a crime — plain and simple.

Weiselberg's plea agreement does not require him to cooperate or testify Hush-money investigationIt is scheduled to launch on March 25. Prosecutors have vowed not to prosecute him for other crimes he may have committed in connection with his employment with the Trump Organization.

In court on Monday, Weiselberg admitted to perjury on three occasions while testifying in New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit against Trump — in deposition testimony in July 2020 and May 2023 and on the witness stand at a hearing last October.

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However, to avoid violating his probation in the tax case, he pleaded guilty only to charges related to his 2020 testimony.

“Alan Weiselberg looks forward to putting this situation behind him,” his attorney Seth Rosenberg said in a statement.

Weiselberg surrendered at the DA's office Monday morning and entered the courtroom handcuffed and masked. He admitted to lying when he testified that he had no knowledge or awareness of how Trump's Manhattan penthouse was valued at three times its actual size on his financial statements.

“You know the witness is lying?” Judge Larry Peterson asked Weiselberg on Monday.

“Yes,” Weiselberg replied.

Weiselberg will be formally sentenced on April 10. In agreeing to a five-month sentence, prosecutors cited Weiselberg's age and willingness to plead guilty. In New York, perjury is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Supreme Court as Weiselberg pleaded guilty on Monday He voted for Trump again in Colorado After the government sacked him for his efforts to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.

A judge in the civil fraud case ruled last month that Trump, Weiselberg and others conspired to defraud banks, insurers and others by using financial statements about Trump's assets to secure deals and loans. In addition to fining Trump $455 million, Judge Arthur Engron ordered Weiselberg to pay $1 million in restitution — the most severed amount he has ever received. They complain.

Engoron wrote in his decision that he found Weiselberg's testimony to be deliberately omitted with large gaps of “I don't remember.”

The judge wrote that Weiselberg's severance agreement “makes his testimony highly implausible” because it prevents him from voluntarily cooperating with law enforcement.

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“The Trump organization keeps Weiselberg on a short leash, and it shows,” Engoron wrote.

Trump's Manhattan penthouse is estimated at 30,000 square feet (2,800 square meters), based on his financial statements from at least 2012 to 2016. Almost three times its actual size.

Weiselberg told the October hearing that he “didn't walk around knowing the size” of the apartment. Trump said his subordinates “made a mistake.”

The Penthouse was mispriced until Forbes publicly announced the discrepancy in 2017. The Trump Organization adjusted its size and reduced the estimated value from $327 million to about $117 million.

Jury selection in the hush-money trial, the first of Trump's four impeachments, is set to begin in three weeks. These include allegations that Trump falsified company records To hide payments It was done during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sex. Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, has denied any wrongdoing and is innocent.

Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer and fixer, said Weiselberg had a role in the payments. Weiselberg was not charged in that case. Neither prosecutors nor Trump's attorneys indicated they would call Weiselberg as a witness.

Prosecutors have suggested in court documents that they plan to show jurors “handwritten notes” they say Weiselberg wrote during a meeting with Cohen in January 2017. Trump's lawyers have said the notes are hearsay unless Weiselberg testifies.

Weiselberg went to prison last year after pleading guilty to tax evasion on $1.7 million in compensation from the Trump Organization. Prior to that, he had no criminal record.

Under that plea deal, Weiselberg was required to testify as a prosecution witness in a trial that led to the conviction of the Trump Organization for helping executives to evade taxes. He did so carefully, laying out the facts of his own involvement, but said Trump was not aware of the plan.

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He left New York City's notorious Rikers Island in April 2023.

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Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz and Michael L. Price contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to show that Weiselberg pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury, not five, and that they occurred during a deposition, not a trial.

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