At her husband’s bond hearing, Shellie Zimmerman was asked repeatedly about money. Among the questions: How much did the couple collect in donations through the PayPal account George Zimmerman set up on his website.
“Currently, I don’t know,” Shellie Zimmerman replied. She and other family members described their financial situation as dire. Judge Kenneth Lester granted George Zimmerman $150,000 bond on his second-degree murder charge.
But prosecutors say Shellie Zimmerman spent the days before that hearing shifting tens of thousands of dollars out of her husband’s account, then deliberately lied to the judge.
On Tuesday, she was arrested on a perjury charge and booked into John E. Polk Correctional Facility, the same jail her husband has called home since the deception was revealed earlier this month, leading the judge to revoke his bond.
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. 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.
Shellie Zimmerman was arrested about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, deputies said. She quickly bonded out of jail.
George Zimmerman remains jailed without bail. He faces a second-degree murder charge in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. A second bond hearing is set for later this month.