On Friday, a New York judge ordered a $1.6m fine against the Trump Organization, a real estate company associated with former President Donald Trump, for tax crimes. The company, along with two of its subsidiaries, Trump Corp and Trump Payroll Corp, were found guilty by a New York jury in December of fraud and falsifying business records. This marks the first-ever criminal conviction of one of Trump’s companies.
The Trump Organization and its subsidiaries were found to have enriched its top executives with untaxed benefits, such as luxury cars and private school fees, for a period of 15 years. Prosecutors argued that these benefits made up for lower salaries and thus reduced the amount of tax the business was required to pay. The fine imposed is the maximum penalty that could have been imposed for this case.
The Trump Organization, which is synonymous with the former President, was not directly involved in the trial, and neither was he or any of his family members. The only person charged in the scheme was the company’s former Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg. He was sentenced to five months in prison for his role in the tax fraud scheme, in which he had pleaded guilty to concealing more than $1.7m in off-the-books income.
It is worth noting that this is not the only legal trouble that the former President and his company currently face. There is a separate lawsuit against him and his children in New York over allegations of fraud, and he is also being investigated by the US Department of Justice over his handling of classified documents after his presidency. In both cases, Mr. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and he has also countersued New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, for “intimidation”.
The fine imposed