(NEW YORK) — Former Trump Org. Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is in plea talks with the Manhattan district attorney’s office to resolve a potential perjury charge, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.
If the negotiations succeed, Weisselberg would plead guilty to lying on the witness stand when he testified in October at the civil fraud trial that names him, his former boss — former President Donald Trump — and others as defendants, the sources said.
The plea negotiations, which the sources described as being in the early stages, were first reported by The New York Times. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to comment. An attorney for Weisselberg did not respond to a request for comment.
During his testimony, Weisselberg struggled to explain why former President Trump’s 5th Ave. triplex, which is less than 11,000 square feet, was listed on 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 the 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 said.
At trial, a lawyer with the New York attorney general’s office, Louis Solomon, confronted Weisselberg with emails from Forbes magazine 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.
If Weisselberg ends up pleading guilty to a perjury charge it would mark his second criminal conviction. He previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges and testified against the Trump Organization, which was convicted in 2022 of tax evasion.
His testimony was careful not to implicate Trump and Weisselberg is not expected to be called as a witness in the Manhattan DA’s criminal case against Trump that accuses him of falsifying business records in connection with a hush payment to porn actress.
Trump is on trial in New York in a $370 million civil lawsuit that could alter the personal fortune and real estate empire that helped propel Trump to the White House.
Trump, his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and other top Trump Organization executives are accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of engaging in a decade-long scheme in which they used “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. The trial comes after the judge in the case ruled in a partial summary judgment that Trump had submitted “fraudulent valuations” for his assets, leaving the trial to determine additional actions and what penalty, if any, the defendants should receive.
The former president has denied all wrongdoing and his attorneys have argued that Trump’s alleged inflated valuations were a product of his business skill.
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