Trump Organization hit with $1.6 million fine for criminal tax fraud scheme• https://www.cnbc.com, Kevin Breuninger
The Trump Corp. and The Trump Payroll Corp., two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization, were both sentenced to the maximum possible fines under New York laws. The Trump Organization has denied all wrongdoing and is planning to appeal the verdict.
The subsidiaries were found guilty last month on 17 counts, including tax fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy, as part of what prosecutors had called a "sweeping and audacious" scheme to compensate company executives "off the books." The verdict by a New York City jury marked the first-ever criminal convictions of Trump's companies.
One of those executives was former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges last summer and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against his longtime employer.
The Manhattan district attorney's office accused Weisselberg of receiving more than $1.7 million in unreported compensation over more than a decade. That compensation came in the form of rent payments on luxury apartments, home furnishings, Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, parking garage expenses, and private school tuition payments for his grandchildren, prosecutors alleged.
Weisselberg and Trump's companies "conducted and benefitted from sweeping fraud for well over a decade," Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg said in a statement after the sentence came down Friday morning.
"While corporations can't serve jail time, this consequential conviction and sentencing serves as a reminder to corporations and executives that you cannot defraud tax authorities and get away with it. It is also an important reminder that our state law must change so that we can impose more significant penalties and sanctions on corporations that commit crimes in New York," Bragg said.