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Ex-Trump CFO Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury in NY case

Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s real estate company, pleaded guilty to perjury.    (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)
By Patricia Hurtado and Erik Larson Bloomberg

  Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s real estate company, pleaded guilty to perjury in connection with testimony he gave in New York state’s civil fraud case against the former president.

Weisselberg, who was led into a lower Manhattan courtroom in handcuffs Monday, was also a defendant in the suit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. He entered his plea following talks with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The development comes as Trump is appealing his loss at the non-jury trial, which resulted in a $454 million judgment against him and his company for inflating the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year for more than a decade to get better terms on loans from Deutsche Bank AG and other lenders.

Weisselberg isn’t expected to testify against Trump in an upcoming trial over hush money payments made to the porn star Stormy Daniels in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election. But Bragg’s office could use him to corroborate testimony from their star witness, Michael Cohen.

Cohen is expected to testify about the payments and about how Trump paid him back following the election, by putting him on a “retainer” in 2017. Trump’s lawyers will seek to portray Cohen as a serial liar. Weisselberg, who loyally served three generations of Trump’s family, could be used to support Cohen’s testimony or to counter the testimony of other Trump Organization witnesses seeking to protect the former president.

Weisselberg was facing five counts of first-degree perjury, a felony punishable by as many as 7 years in prison. But under his agreement with prosecutors he will plead guilty to two perjury counts. Prosecutors are recommending five months in jail.

The plea was expected following a New York Times report that Weisselberg was in talks with Bragg’s office. That report said it was unclear what testimony by the former CFO could be the basis for a perjury charge. But on the witness stand Weisselberg had testified that he hadn’t been involved in overvaluing Trump’s penthouse by hundreds of millions of dollars. Forbes reported that his testimony was false, citing its previous work uncovering that Trump overvalued the penthouse.

Weisselberg was found liable in the trail and hit with a $1 million penalty.

A few weeks before issuing his Feb. 16 verdict, the judge who oversaw the trial said he was considering invoking the doctrine of “falsus in uno” - the start of the Latin phrase for “false in one thing, false in everything” - to conclude that none of Weisselberg’s testimony was credible in light of the plea talks. The former CFO took the stand in October and described his role in the creation of Trump’s annual statements of financial condition, which are central to the case.

Weisselberg denied any wrongdoing.

Weisselberg, who began work for Trump’s father, had served as CFO for the family business for decades before he was charged with tax fraud in July 2021 for accepting unreported perks like luxury housing and cars as salary. He subsequently stepped down from his role, pleaded guilty in 2022 and was sentenced to five months in jail. He also agreed to testify against the company, which was also convicted of tax fraud.

—With assistance from Greg Farrell.

(Updates with plea in first paragraph and details throughout.)

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