Is George Zimmerman About to be Charged with Perjury?

We have a bond hearing coming up on Friday, but I do not believe Zimmerman has a realistic chance to get bail. The recorded jailhouse telephone calls leave no doubt that he and his wife conspired to conceal the $155,000 that they had at their disposal when they were claiming indigency. She actually lied under oath in court and there is little doubt her husband put her up to it.

Then there is the troubling matter of the passport . . .

She cannot testify because she is charged with perjury and her lawyer will advise her not to testify because anything she might say can and most assuredly will be used against her.

He is in the same position, even though he is not charged with perjury, yet.

That’s right, folks.

Just because he has not been charged with perjury, does not mean that he won’t be charged.

So let’s take a look at the subject of accomplice liability for criminal behavior.

Section 2.06(3) of the Model Penal Code defines an accomplice:

A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of a crime if:

(a) with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he

(i) solicits such other person to commit it; or

(ii) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it; or

(iii) having a legal duty to prevent the commission of the offense, fails to make proper effort so to do; or

(b) his conduct is expressly declared by law to establish his complicity.

By now, I think most of us have listened to the recorded jailhouse conversations between GZ and SZ. Although I do not recall a conversation in which GZ and SZ specifically discussed a strategy to use in court to conceal the $155,000 he had received in donations to his PayPal account, there is no question that, pursuant to his instructions, she moved all of that money around in amounts less than $10,000 each time between three accounts (theirs and his sister’s) during the four-day period before the bond hearing.

When she was questioned at the bond hearing regarding whether she could estimate how much money was in the PayPal account, she responded that she had no idea. That response is the basis for the perjury charge.

The issue is whether GZ acted as her accomplice. If he did, he also committed perjury and is just as responsible as his wife under the law, even though he is not the one who lied in court.

To successfully prosecute GZ for perjury, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, for the purpose of concealing the $155,000 asset from the court in order to be found indigent at the bond hearing, he solicited or aided SZ to deny the existence of that asset while testifying as a witness under oath at the bond hearing.

The unusual machinations with the money by themselves demonstrate an effort to conceal the money, albeit an unsophisticated one. For example, bank to bank transfers do not meet the definition of currency. Therefore, there is no legal requirement imposed on a bank or credit union to report transactions exceeding $10,000 to the IRS. If SZ had transferred the entire $155,000 in one transaction, the credit union would not have generated a Currency Transaction Report to the IRS.

By structuring the transaction in amounts less than $10,000 however, the credit union would have generated a Suspicious Activity Report to the IRS, which likely will investigate what happened.

The final ironic twist is that the $155,000 is a non-taxable gift to GZ.

They went to all of that trouble to conceal the money and only succeeded in drawing unnecessary attention to themselves.

The question is, did they go to all that trouble to conceal the money from the IRS or did they do it to conceal the money from the court, or both?

Moving the money around coupled with the lie in court indicates both.

I think the prosecution needs SZ’s cooperation to prosecute GZ for perjury, so I believe it will be willing to play let’s make a deal with her to nail him by providing the evidence that proves the shared intent element of accomplice liability.

That brings me back to the two passports.

Were they planning a quick trip out of the country with the money, if the case started to go sideways? For example, were they planning to to wait and see how the SYG hearing went and if GZ lost, were they going split?

Then again, maybe they were just attempting to conceal the money from the lawyer, who was being an incredibly nice guy for taking the case on a pro bono basis because he liked GZ and believed they did not have any money.

Do you think SZ decided on her own to lie to the court?

Will she snitch to avoid a felony conviction and a likely prison sentence?

If she flips, do you think the deal might come together before the bond hearing?

I imagine the prosecution certainly would love to flip her before the hearing this Friday because it would guarantee that Judge Lester would deny GZ’s motion for bond and enormously complicate his already shaky defense against the murder charge.

10 Responses to Is George Zimmerman About to be Charged with Perjury?

  1. KA says:

    He gave precise instructions to Shellie and his sister on the wiring of money down to the exact amount which only served to transfer the vast majority back to his account a few days later should show an evasive intent. It seems the only logical conclusion considering the conversation in the phone call audios and his precise instructions on the money.

    It also strikes me that his “forgetful” ADD affliction did not impede his memory nor recall functioning when the topic of the bank, accounts, and money.He knew exact amounts and could recall exact conversations and balances. He gave precise details to Shellie on what bills needed to be paid and how much he wanted towards bail.

    I “forgot” seems far too convenient in the timing and situation in his interviews.It seemed if he could not explain it, he “forgot”.

  2. raiikun says:

    Before the bond hearing, George told his wife to pray before testifying, and tell the truth.

    I don’t see him getting charged with perjury or being denied bail.

    • KA says:

      Yes, but if the money was moved out of his account before the hearing by his instruction and then then moved back again after the hearing as per Zimmerman’s instructions, I would that that pretty convincing.

      I heard that he was going to use the dialog about “praying about it” beforehand and washing his hands of her actions, but that would show a pretty cold and calloused move from her husband. He would basically be saying under oath that he knew nothing of her lying beforehand and it is completely her own choice. He would be that prosecutors best witness against Shellie.

      Not that I think that argument will fly with the judge as it clearly showed her following his instruction in the money transfer. His action of “omission” for financial resources that granted him a lower bail is clearly a violation of the bail conditions that he signed to get out of the jail. I think if they tried that, Judge Lester would impose a contempt of court for the deception if charges are not filed but the State. The judge knew he was the source of the deception and clearly made distinctions with language like “…allowed his wife to misrepresent..” between Zimmerman’s responsibility to the court and the actions of O’Mara or Shellie in this matter.

      I do not believe this deception or omission will be taken lightly by the court.

    • Roderick says:

      So you believe that the judge will overlook Shellie’s obvious perjury just because George told her to pray before the bond hearing? LOL

      There are taped conversations between them talking in code in an attempt to hide the money.

  3. jd says:

    But for the GPS ankle bracelet, which George didn’t find out about until the day he was told the conditions for bond, GZ had the means, motive and opportunity to flee from the murder charges. And he set it up that way.

    This is not my opinion, it’s a fact. He had a valid passport that the court thought he had turned in and he had not. So until the prosecution alerted them, the state department hadn’t put any hold on his travel. He had access to hidden funds in excess of $135,000 – that was just the amount the prosecution could prove in court that day. There was also a $20,000 “slush fund” held in cash probably is safe deposit boxes, and all of his debts had been paid off, giving him access to better lines of credit. And more money was coming in every day. For motive at the least he could claim a fear that he would not be given a fair trial, although there is no proof of this.

    My opinion is that he had to have a reason to want to have the money out of his personal credit union account and his passport out of the SHARED safe deposit box, and that reason was that he fully expected any accounts with his name on them to be seized and searched when he failed to show up for a court appearance. If he had been released without an ankle bracelet he may have been planning on waiting until a SYG hearing to decide to flee or he may have been ready to flee right away. We may never know, or we may hear as early as Friday if Shellie flips on him. There’s just no way to tell at this point.

    But if I had to guess I’d say she hasn’t been offered a deal yet. I think what we will hear at the bond hearing is that there are other potentially criminal activities discussed on the recorded calls from jail, with different family members.

    I assume that “Ken” is the brother-in-law discussed at the bond hearing. But who is he married to that makes him a BIL to Shellie? Is “Ken” a code name for Robert Zimmerman, Jr.? Did “Ken” discuss money transfers with GZ on recorded jail calls? Does that make him a partner to a criminal conspiracy? I don’t think so – moving the money from a Pay Pal account to a credit union account is not illegal, is it? But if he ADVISED GZ to have the funds moved out of his account and for SZ to deny knowledge of the funds, then he’s guilty of something, right?

    All of this in my mind pales against what the prosecution gets to say in court now, even if no other revelations are forthcoming yet. And that’s “what did DAD know and when did he know it?” Because if he knew nothing the next question is, “is GZ in the habit of lying to his father the former Virginia magistrate who put up ($10K against) his HOUSE to get his son out on bail?” And if he knew about the hidden passport and hidden money, what sort of son did he raise?

    • KA says:

      I agree on the GPS ankle bracelet. He did not know that would be a condition and I believe that GZ and SZ were talking about their great future not for after trial, but after he was out of jail. He “your going to have a really great life” comment is suspicious for a wife of 5 years to say. I think the plan was for him to get away and her to join later potentially. I found their whole exchange there strange.

      I think the GPS monitoring is what put the “dent” in their travel plans. I suspect the passport was a good idea until they realized they could not use it without detection. I suspect that is how it was easy to give up…of course I do not believe for a moment that GZ volunteered that information to O’Mara. I suspect it was a “come to Jesus” meeting with O’Mara when he found out about the money amounts. I suspect that information was also not given up voluntarily by GZ either.

  4. james leone says:

    Not much….but…depending on the size of the individual gifts to GZ and SZ, one of the gifts, if large enough, could be taxable to the giver or givers (if married). However, the giver(s) could use it againt one or both lifetime exemption(s). Potentially, the gift could be split in 4 if the giver is married each spouse could give up to the taxable limit per year to both GZ and SZ.

  5. KA says:

    I expect Paypal transactions and payment records…

  6. jd says:

    Exhaustive and over-redundant explanation of GZ’s obfuscations regarding his movements from the clubhouse to the T are now posted on my flickr site here:

    Be sure to read the notes that accompany the illustrations. Sorry for the length. While brevity may be the soul of wit, this is more “department of redundancy department.”

  7. jd says:

    Exhaustive and over-redundant explanation of GZ’s obfuscations regarding his movements from the clubhouse to the T are now posted on my flickr site here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeandodge/sets/72157630287389764/

    Be sure to read the notes that accompany the illustrations. Sorry for the length. While brevity may be the soul of wit, this is more “department of redundancy department.”

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