Shellie Zimmerman was arrested today and jailed for perjury, based on her false claim of indigency under oath at the bond hearing at her husband’s bond hearing. She posted a $1,000 bond and was released about an hour later.
In an affidavit, prosecutors revealed new details about Shellie Zimmerman’s alleged efforts to hide money from the court.
Four days before she testified to having no knowledge of the funds, the affidavit says, Shellie Zimmerman began a series of transfers into her account — totaling $74,000 between April 16 and April 19.
The affidavit says about $47,000 more was transferred from George Zimmerman’s account to his sister’s [account]. Shellie Zimmerman withdrew about $18,000 more cash, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say the Zimmermans used a rudimentary “code” to discuss the money in recorded jailhouse phone calls — referring to $100,000, for example, as “$100.” At least two of the calls, the state alleges, were made while Shellie Zimmerman and her husband’s sister were at a local credit union making the transactions.
“In my account do I have at least $100?” Zimmerman asked. “No… there’s like $8. $8.60,” she replied.
Zimmerman told his wife to “pay off all the bills” with the money, prosecutors said, including an American Express card and a Sam’s Club card. He also instructed her on how to pay for his bail.
According to the affidavit, after her husband was released on bond days after the bond hearing, she transferred more than $85,000 back into his account. A branch manager at their credit union told prosecutors he knew the couple, and saw Shellie Zimmerman talking to her husband on the phone on April 16.
The manager said he’d helped Shellie Zimmerman transfer control of George Zimmerman’s account, at one point speaking directly to George Zimmerman by phone.
In addition, USA Today is reporting that Judge Lester, who presided over the bond hearing and to whom the case is preassigned filed an order earlier today stating in part,
Lester concluded that Zimmerman’s wife had “testified untruthfully” about her husband’s finances at his initial bond hearing and that Zimmerman had failed to tell the court about one of his two passports.
Lester also noted that the evidence against George Zimmerman “is strong.”
“Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process.”
Devastating news for George Zimmerman.
At this point, I do not believe Mark O’Mara can represent Shellie Zimmerman because, to do so, would create a conflict of interest. His primary duty is to represent and protect George Zimmerman, his client. Needless to say, if George put her up to this, her best interest would be to rat him out and her own lawyer likely would advise her to do so.
Meanwhile, O’Mara may have some potential legal issues to deal with also. How could he not have known about the money in the Paypal account? And what about the second passport that he apparently had in his possession. Did he knowingly participate in the fraud perpetrated by the Zimmermans?
I have a feeling the bond hearing will be stricken due to these recent developments. It is an incredibly dangerous minefield for George and Shellie Zimmerman, for George’s sister, and potentially for Mark O’Mara and even George’s father.
If the hearing goes off as scheduled, expect the prosecution to be beating a drum repeatedly with the following question,
What did you know and when did you know it?