George Zimmerman’s wife out on bail after perjury charge

Linda Young – Fourth Estate Cooperative Writer

Orlando, Fla., United States (4E) – The wife of the shooter of the Florida unarmed teen made bail Tuesday afternoon after being arrested for lying court during her husband’s bond hearing.

Prosecutors had Shellie Zimmerman arrested for perjury in connection with false testimony she gave in the April 20 bond hearing for her husband George Zimmerman.

She was released after posting a $1,000 bond.

George Zimmerman, 28, has admitted to shooting and killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin as the 17-year-old walked home from a nearby store.

During her husband’s bond hearing, prosecutors asked Shellie Zimmerman, 25, if she and her husband had any money.

Under oath, Shellie Zimmerman answered, “Uhmm, not, not that I’m aware of.”

The amount of money the couple had was relevant because judges set the amount of bail based on the ability of the person to pay to avoid a bond that is either too low or too high for that individual.

A low bond means a person might become a flight risk if they can afford to forfeit that money while a too-high bail can make it impossible for that individual to be released on bond.

Prosecutors listened to recorded conversations between the Zimmermans while George Zimmerman was in jail prior to his bond hearing.

The tapes revealed that the Zimmermans discussed in detail the amount of money that his website had brought in and that both were aware of how much money it had raised. In addition, the Zimmermans spoke in code as they discussed transferring cash from the PayPal account linked to the website to his credit union, which she was authorized to access, as well as transferring money out of his account into her credit union account, as well as into her sister’s bank account.

Prosecutors examined the PayPal account and discovered that George Zimmerman’s website had raised $135,000 before his bond hearing and more than $200,000 total before it was shut down. The couple had access to all that money.

Moreover, prosecutors charge that the Zimmermans made sure each of the cash transfers they made was below the $10,000 amount that automatically generates the requirement for the bank to comply with federal laws aimed at fighting money laundering.

So Shellie Zimmerman might face federal charges as well as perjury charges.

The jailhouse tapes also revealed the existence of a second passport for George Zimmerman that the couple did not disclose to authorities.

At the time that the court ordered Zimmerman to surrender his passport, he surrendered only his original passport that was expiring within a few months. However, the tapes revealed the couple talking about his second passport, which was in a safety deposit box and does not expire until 2014.

The court ordered Zimmerman to surrender his passport to reduce the risk that he would be a flight risk. His mother is from Peru and many of his relatives still live there.

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