Former Trump Organization director Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months in prison for lying

(Curtis Means/Associated Press)

Former Trump Organization director Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months in prison for lying

Election 2024

Michael R. Sisak and Philip Marcelo

April 10, 2024

Allen Weisselberg, a retired executive from Donald Trump’s real estate empire, was sentenced Wednesday to five months in prison for lying under oath during his testimony in the civil fraud case brought by New York’s attorney general against the former president.

Weisselberg, 76, was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs after the sentencing, which lasted less than five minutes.

When asked if he wanted to address the court, Weisselberg, wearing a black windbreaker and face mask, replied: No, your honor.

It is the second time that Weisselberg has been behind bars. The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization served 100 days last year for evading taxes on $1.7 million in company benefits, including a rent-free apartment in Manhattan and luxury cars.

Now he is once again trading his life as a retiree in Florida for a stay in the infamous prison complex on Rikers Island in New York, although he also gets something in return.

When Weisselberg pleaded guilty last month to two counts of perjury, the office of Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg has made a legally binding pledge not to prosecute him for any other crimes he may have committed in connection with his longtime employment with the Trump Organization.

Weisselberg’s plea deal also does not require him to testify at Trump’s hush-money criminal trial, which begins Monday with jury selection.

Allen Weisselberg accepted responsibility for his conduct and now looks forward to the end of this life-changing experience and to returning to his family and retirement, his attorney Seth Rosenberg said in a statement after the court hearing.

Prosecutors from Bragg’s office declined to address the court during the brief sentencing hearing. As part of his guilty plea, Weisselberg admitted that he lied during his test about knowing little about how Trump’s Manhattan penthouse was valued on his financial statements at nearly three times its actual size.

The two cases underscored Weisselberg’s unwavering loyalty to Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump’s family employed Weisselberg for nearly 50 years and then gave him a $2 million severance package when taxes prompted him to retire. The company continues to pay its legal bills.

Weisselberg tested twice in trials that ended badly for Trump, but each time he took pains to suggest his boss had committed no serious wrongdoing.

In agreeing to a five-month prison sentence, prosecutors cited Weisselberg’s age and willingness to admit wrongdoing. In New York, perjury is a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Weisselberg’s sentence reflects his previous case, in which he served five months in prison but was eligible for release after just over three months with good behavior. He previously had no criminal record.

Trump’s lawyers railed against Weisselberg’s perjury prosecution, accusing the Manhattan district attorney’s office of using unethical strong-arm tactics against an innocent man in his late 70s while turning a blind eye to the accusations of perjury against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. a key witness for the prosecution in the hush money case.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty on March 4. He admitted to lying under oath three times during tests in New York Atty. General Letitia James’ lawsuit against Trump: in depositions in July 2020 and May 2023 and on the witness stand during the trial last October. To avoid violating probation on his tax case, he agreed to plead guilty only to the charges related to his 2020 testimony.

The size of Trump’s penthouse was a key issue in the civil fraud case.

Trump valued the apartment on his financial statements from at least 2012 to 2016 as if it were 30,000 square feet. A former Trump real estate manager testified that Weisselberg provided the figure. The former director said that when Weisselberg asked about the size of the apartment in 2012, he replied: It’s quite big. I think it’s about 30,000 square feet.

State attorneys noted, however, that early that year, Weisselberg received an email with a 1994 document that pinned 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 how big the apartment was.

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

While Weisselberg was testing last October, Forbes published an article headlined Trump’s Longtime CFO Lied, Under Oath, About Trump Tower Penthouse.

The civil fraud trial ended when Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and some of his executives schemed to defraud banks, insurers and others by lying about his wealth on financial statements used to close deals and secure loans. The judge fined Trump $455 million and sentenced Weisselberg to $1 million. They are both attractive.

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

Weisselberg will likely play a role in Trump’s hush money trial, even if he is in jail and not on the witness stand while it takes place.

Trump is accused of falsifying his company’s records to cover up payments during his 2016 campaign to bury stories of marital infidelity. It is the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to go to trial. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

Cohen has said Weisselberg played a role in orchestrating the payments. Weisselberg, who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida


a., has not been charged in that case, and neither prosecutors nor Trump’s lawyers have indicated they will call him as a witness.

Sisak and Marcelo write for the Associated Press.


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