Former Trump CFO pleads guilty to perjury in ex-president’s civil fraud trial

NEW YORK — Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s company, pleaded guilty Monday in New York to lying under oath during his testimony in the ex-president’s civil fraud case. His plea deal will send him back to jail but does not require him to testify at Trump’s hush-money criminal trial.

Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty in state court to two counts of perjury and will be sentenced to five months in jail, which would be his second stint behind bars after serving 100 days last year in an unrelated tax fraud case.

In pleading guilty, Weisselberg found himself again caught between the law and his loyalty to Trump, whose family employed him for nearly 50 years and sent him into retirement with a $2 million severance. His plea to perjury is further evidence that, rather than testify truthfully or flip on his old boss, he was willing to again spend a chunk of his golden years in jail.

“It is a crime to lie in depositions and at trial — plain and simple,” the Manhattan prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The plea agreement does not require him to cooperate or provide testimony at the hush-money trial, which is scheduled to begin March 25. Prosecutors promised not to prosecute him for other crimes he might have committed in connection with his employment at the Trump Organization.

The counts to which Weisselberg pleaded guilty related to his testimony in a July 2020 deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case against Trump. As part of his plea agreement, he also admitted Monday that he lied on the witness stand at the civil fraud trial last fall and at a related deposition in May 2023.

Weisselberg surrendered earlier Monday and entered the state courtroom in handcuffs and a mask. He admitted lying when he testified that he had little knowledge or awareness of how Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower in Manhattan came to be overvalued on financial statements based on figures listing it at three times its actual size.


“Allen Weisselberg looks forward to putting this situation behind him,” his lawyer Seth Rosenberg said in a statement.

He is still on probation for the tax fraud case and will be formally sentenced April 10. In agreeing to a five-month jail sentence, prosecutors cited Weisselberg’s age and willingness to admit wrongdoing. In New York, perjury is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

As Weisselberg was pleading guilty Monday, the Supreme Court restored Trump to the ballot in Colorado after the state removed him over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The judge in the civil fraud case ruled last month that Trump, Weisselberg and others schemed to deceive banks, insurers and others by lying about Trump’s wealth on financial statements used to make deals and secure loans. Along with penalizing Trump $455 million, Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Weisselberg to pay $1 million — the amount of severance he has received so far. They are appealing.

After The New York Times reported last month that Weisselberg was in perjury plea negotiations, Engoron ordered lawyers in the civil fraud case to provide details related to the Times’ report.

In his Feb. 16 decision, Engoron wrote that he found Weisselberg’s testimony “intentionally evasive, with large gaps of ‘I don’t remember.’”

The judge wrote that Weisselberg’s severance agreement “renders his testimony highly unreliable” because it bars him from voluntarily cooperating with law enforcement.

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

Trump’s Manhattan penthouse was valued on his financial statements from at least 2012 to 2016 as though it measured 30,000 square feet (2,800 square meters), nearly three times its actual size. Testimony from various current and former Trump Organization personnel ultimately, if vaguely, appeared to identify Weisselberg as the source of the larger figure.

Weisselberg said at the October trial that he didn’t “walk around knowing the size” of the apartment and Trump maintained that his underlings “just made a mistake.” Trump suggested the high number is “not that far off” when factoring in his access to the building roof.

The penthouse continued to be valued at the incorrect size until Forbes publicly reported the discrepancy in 2017. The Trump Organization then adjusted the size and cut the estimated value from $327 million to about $117 million.

Jury selection is set to start in three weeks in the hush-money case, the first of Trump’s four indictments to go to trial. It involves accusations that Trump falsified company records to cover up payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters. Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has said Weisselberg had a role in orchestrating the payments, but Weisselberg has not been charged in that case and isn’t expected to be much of a factor in the trial. Neither prosecutors nor Trump’s lawyers have indicated they will call Weisselberg as a witness.

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

The perjury case is separate from the criminal case that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought against Trump last year. Weisselberg went to jail after pleading guilty to dodging taxes on $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the Trump Organization. Prior to that, he had no criminal record.

Under that plea deal, Weisselberg was required to testify as a prosecution witness at a trial that led to the Trump Organization’s conviction for helping executives evade taxes. He did so carefully, laying out the facts of his own involvement in evading taxes but taking care not to implicate Trump, telling jurors his boss was unaware of the scheme.

He left New York City’s notorious Rikers Island in April 2023, days after Trump was indicted in the hush money case.



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