Former President Donald Trump’s company was hit with a $1.6 million fine on Friday for a scheme in which top executives were found to have dodged personal income taxes on job emoluments.
A fine was the only penalty available penalty against the Trump Organization after its conviction last month for 17 tax crimes in the first-ever criminal convictions of Trump’s companies, as Breitbart News reported.
The conviction and penalties came after New York prosecutors have spent the last three years investigating the former president and his businesses.
Judge Juan Manuel Merchan imposed the maximum amount allowed by law, double the taxes a small group of executives avoided on benefits including rent-free apartments in Trump buildings, luxury cars and private school tuition, AP reports.
The Trump Corp. and The Trump Payroll Corp., two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization, were both named in the decision.
The company now has 14 days to pay.
Trump himself was not on trial. He denied any knowledge of his executives evading taxes illegally. In a statement released after sentencing, the Trump Organization said it did nothing wrong and would appeal.
“These politically motivated prosecutors will stop at nothing to get President Trump and continue the never ending witch-hunt which began the day he announced his presidency,” it said.
Neither the former president or his children, who helped run and promote the Trump Organization, were in the courtroom to hear the verdict.
Outside the courtroom, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, lamented the law had not allowed for a more serious penalty, the AP report set out.
“I want to be very clear: we don’t think that is enough,” he said. “Our laws in this state need to change in order to capture this type of decade-plus systemic and egregious fraud.”
In the wake of the Trump Organization’s convictions, Hunter Biden continues to walk free, despite admitting in December 2020 — after the presidential election — he was under federal investigation for possible tax violations linked to his foreign business activities.