A New York judge has fined the Trump Organization $1.61 million for scheming to defraud tax authorities for 15 years. The maximum possible sentence was imposed on the organization’s affiliates, The Trump Corp. and The Trump Payroll Corp., following the guilty verdicts on 17 criminal charges last month, as per a report by Reuters on January 14, 2023.
The fine is seen as a symbolic slap on the wrists for former President Donald Trump, who has announced a third run for the White House and is likely to be used by his opponents to question his character and integrity, according to a report by Business Insider on January 14, 2023. The Trump Organization has stated that they are not guilty and intend to appeal the court’s decision.
The Manhattan DA’s office accuses Allen Weisselberg, former CFO of the Trump Organization, of receiving over $1.7 million in unreported compensation for over 10 years in various forms like rent, cars, home furnishings, parking, and tuition. He pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges last year and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against his former employer.
Based on the report in Latin Times on January 15, 2023, the Manhattan DA says Trump’s companies committed “sweeping fraud” for over a decade and that the conviction serves as a reminder that corporations and executives can’t defraud tax authorities and get away with it. The investigation of Trump and his businesses is still ongoing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James stated that the sentence in the case proves that no one is above the law, not even Donald Trump or his business. The office is leading a civil investigation and has filed a lawsuit against Trump, his family, and his businesses, seeking at least $250 million in damages.