Donald Trump’s company fined $1.6m after top bosses dodged taxes

US

Donald Trump’s company has been fined $1.6m (£1.3m) after top bosses at the firm dodged taxes.

A judge could only impose a fine on the Trump Organization after its conviction last month for 17 tax crimes, including conspiracy and falsifying business records.

Mr Trump himself was not on trial and denied any knowledge of his executives evading taxes illegally.

Neither the former president or his children, who helped run the company, were in court for the sentencing hearing.

The Organization was charged through its subsidiaries: Trump Corp, which was fined $810,000 (£662,976) and Trump Payroll Corp, which was fined $800,000 (£654,792).

The amount imposed by Judge Juan Manuel Merchan was the maximum allowed by law.

He ordered the company to pay the full amount in 14 days, when it had asked for 30 days.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said the fines constituted “a fraction of the revenue” of the Trump Organization and that the tax evasion scheme was “far-reaching and brazen”.

Prosecuting and defense attorneys Pic: AP
Image:
Prosecution and defence attorneys. Pic: AP

Despite the fines costing less than an apartment in Trump Tower, the conviction is a black mark on the Republican’s reputation, as he gears up for his 2024 presidential election campaign.

The company’s lawyers have vowed to appeal over the verdict, while Mr Trump has said the case against his company was part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” waged against him by vindictive Democrats.

Along with the company, on Tuesday former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison after being found guilty of evading taxes on $1.7m (£1.4m) in job perks, along with 15 other tax crimes that he admitted to in August 2021.

Allen Weisselberg
Image:
Allen Weisselberg

During a four-week trial, prosecutors said Mr Trump himself signed bonus checks, as well as the lease on Weisselberg’s luxury Manhattan apartment and private school tuition for the CFO’s grandchildren.

Weisselberg later denied Mr Trump was involved in the fraud scheme.

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But Mr Trump faces several other legal challenges as he looks to retake the White House next year.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Mr Trump and his Organization for $250m (£204m), alleging they misled banks and others about the value of its many assets.

Last month, the January 6 committee recommended criminal charges against the former president for his role in sparking the violent riots at the US Capitol.

The FBI is also investigating Mr Trump’s storage of classified documents, something that current US President Joe Biden is also facing, after a special counsel was appointed to investigate documents found in his home and former Washington office.

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