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Ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months for perjury

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(NEW YORK) — Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg was sentenced Wednesday to five months in jail for lying under oath during his testimony in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial and during the investigation that preceded it.

Weisselberg, 76, arrived at New York criminal court not in a suit, but dressed for jail in jogging pants and a zip-up jacket.

“The promise is five months of incarceration,” Judge Laurie Peterson said during sentencing.

“Mr. Weisselberg is there anything you’d like to say?” the judge asked.

“No your honor,” Weisselberg replied before court officers handcuffed him and took him into custody.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty last month to two felony counts of perjury that charged him with lying under oath. Prosecutors said Weisselberg lied about his role in valuing Trump’s Fifth Avenue triplex apartment at three times its actual size.

During his trial testimony, Weisselberg struggled to explain why the apartment, which is less than 11,000 square feet, was listed on Trump’s statements of financial condition as 30,000 square feet.

“It was almost de minimis relative to his net worth, so I didn’t really focus on it,” Weisselberg said during trial. “I never even thought about the apartment.”

But Forbes published an article following Weisselberg’s appearance that accused him of lying under oath and suggested Weisselberg did think about the apartment because he played a key role in trying to convince the magazine the apartment was as big as Trump’s financial statements represented.

At the trial, a lawyer with the New York AG’s office, Louis Solomon, confronted Weisselberg with emails from a Forbes reporter seeking clarity about the apartment’s size and a letter signed by Weisselberg certifying the excessive square footage to the Trump Organization’s accountant, Mazars USA.

“Forbes was right, the triplex was actually only 10,996 right?” Solomon asked.

“Right,” Weisselberg finally conceded.

In recent days, defense lawyers for Trump and his adult sons have attempted to recast Weisselberg’s guilty plea as an act of legal coercion, rather than an acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

“To be clear, counsel for Defendants have no ‘knowledge’ that Mr. Weisselberg made false statements during the trial; to the contrary, many believe that Mr. Weisselberg only made such admissions because he was being threatened with life in prison,” defense lawyer Clifford Robert added in a footnote of a filing earlier this week.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron in February ordered Trump to pay $464 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest after he found the former president, his adult sons, Weisselberg, and another former Trump Organization executive liable for using “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate his net worth in order to get more favorable loan terms.

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has appealed the decision in the case.

Weisselberg last year served three months in jail for tax fraud after he pleaded guilty to 15 felony charges related to his compensation while working for Trump.

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