Trump Organization Fined $1.6m For Tax Fraud
A New York judge on Friday fined Donald Trump’s family business the maximum penalty possible of $1.6 million for committing tax fraud.
The sum, paltry to the billionaire real estate developer’s amassed fortune, is nevertheless symbolically significant as the ex-president’s eyes the White House again amid a host of legal woes.
The Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corp., entities of the Trump Organization, were found guilty last month of running a years-long scheme to defraud and evade taxes through falsifying business records.
They were convicted on all 17 counts following a trial, marking the first time the companies had ever been found guilty of crimes.
Trump himself was not charged but the verdict inflicted further reputational damage as he seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.
“While corporations can’t serve jail time, this consequential conviction and sentencing serves as a reminder to corporations and executives that you cannot defraud tax authorities and get away with it,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who prosecuted the case.
The Trump Organization, currently run by Trump’s two adult sons, Donald Jr and Eric, hid compensation it paid to top executives between 2005 and 2021.
Longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison on Tuesday, and agreed to pay $2 million in fines, for his role in the scam.
He pleaded guilty to scheming with the company to receive undeclared benefits such as a rent-free apartment in a posh neighborhood, luxury cars for him and his wife, and his grandchildren’s enrollment in an expensive private school.
The 75-year-old admitted 15 counts of tax fraud and testified against the Trump Organization as part of a plea bargain. He did not implicate Trump during the trial.
Trump has branded the case a “witch hunt” and claimed that Weisselberg acted alone.
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