crimes and misdemeanors

Zimmerman Admits He Lied About His Finances

SANFORD, FL- JUNE 3: George Zimmerman (R) is escorted out of a van in to the Seminole County Jail as he surrenders to authorities after he had his bond revoked because of allegedly misleading the court about his finances June 3, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman who claims he was acting in self defense has been charged with the murder of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)
George Zimmerman returns to the Seminole County Jail on June 3, 2012. Photo: Roberto Gonzalez/2012 Getty Images

On Monday, George Zimmerman’s lawyer said that his client “allowed his financial situation to be misstated in court,” which led a judge to revoke his relatively low bail of $150,000. Zimmerman failed to disclose that he’d raised $135,000 in donations, but in a statement posted to the website for the case, lawyer Mark O’Mara argues that Zimmerman’s actions weren’t devious, but motivated by “fear, mistrust, and confusion.”

O’Mara says he’ll request another bond hearing for Zimmerman, who’s charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman returned to jail on Sunday after prosecutors presented the court with a transcript of conversations Zimmerman had with his wife from jail before his original bond hearing, in which they speak in code about how the donated money should be handled. The statement reveals what’s become of the initial $204,000 Zimmerman raised using a PayPal account before an official legal defense fund was created:

Of the original $204,000 raised by Mr. Zimmerman’s fund, approximately $150,000 was transferred to the Legal Defense Fund. $30,000 was used to make the complicated transition from private life in Sanford, FL to a life in hiding as a defendant in a high-profile court case. The balance of approximately $20,000 was kept liquid to provide living expenses for the first several months as the legal process unfolds.

O’Mara told ABC News that Zimmerman currently has about $193,000 in his defense fund, and more donations have started pouring in since he returned to jail. He’s acknowledged that the initial deception doesn’t reflect well on his client, who will soon attempt to convince a jury to accept his version of what happened on the night he shot and killed Martin. “The gravity of this mistake has been distinctly illustrated,” writes O’Mara, adding, “Mr. Zimmerman understands that this mistake has undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair.”