NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Donald Trump’s company was fined $1.6 million Friday for undercutting personal income taxes on massive job bonuses the former president’s top executives received, a symbolic blow. dollars in assets.
The fine was the only fine imposed after the Trump Organization was found guilty last month of 17 tax crimes, including charges of conspiracy and falsifying accounting records.
The amount imposed by Judge Juan Manuel Merchen was the maximum allowed by law, and was equivalent to double the taxes a small group of officials avoided on benefits that included freebies in Trump buildings, luxury cars and license plates at private schools. Rental apartments included.
Marchen gave the Trump Organization 14 days to pay.
Trump himself was not prosecuted and denied any knowledge of his officials illegally evading taxes. In a statement released after the ruling, the Trump Organization said it had done nothing improper and would appeal.
“Politically motivated prosecutors will stop at nothing to stop President Trump and continue the endless witch hunt that began the day he announced his presidency.”
Neither the former president nor his sons, who helped run and promote the Trump Organization, were in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing.
While the fine — less than the cost of a Trump Tower apartment — isn’t large enough to affect the company’s operations or its future, the guilty plea was a black mark on the Republican’s reputation as a one-man business savvy. Campaign counts. back to the white house.
Outside the courtroom, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, said he wished the law had allowed for more severe penalties. “I want to be very clear: We don’t think this is enough,” he said. “Our laws in this state must change to capture this type of egregious and systemic fraud perpetrated over a decade.”
Aside from the company itself, only one executive was charged in the case: Alan Weiselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who pleaded guilty last summer to tax evasion for $1.7 million in compensation.
He was sentenced to five months in jail on Tuesday.
The criminal case involved financial dealings and payment arrangements that the company suspended after Trump was elected president in 2016.
During his years as the company’s top fund manager, Wesselberg was given a free apartment in a Trump-branded building overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan. He and his wife were driving a Mercedes Benz car hired by the company. When his grandchildren went to an exclusive private school, Trump paid for their tuition.
A handful of other officers received similar benefits.
When called to testify against the Trump Organization at trial, Wesselberg testified that he did not pay taxes on that compensation, and that he and a company vice president colluded to conceal benefits, allowing the company to Had to issue incorrect W-2 forms.
Michael Sisak is here: twitter.com/mikesisak