On Friday, a New York judge fined Donald Trump‘s family firm the highest amount allowed for tax evasion, accumulating $1.6 million.
The amount, albeit small in comparison to the billionaire real estate developer’s acquired fortune, is symbolic nonetheless as the former president looks to the White House once more despite numerous legal issues.
Last month, the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corp., two Trump Organization subsidiaries, were found guilty of operating a multi-year operation to cheat and escape taxes by fabricating financial documents.
Following a trial, they were found guilty on all 17 counts, making this the first time the firms had ever been found guilty of a crime.
Even though Donald Trump was not indicted, the verdict caused more damage to his reputation as he vies for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Although corporations are not subject to criminal penalties, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who led the prosecution in the case, said that the conviction and sentence “serves as a message to corporations and executives that you cannot deceive tax officials and get away with it.”
The Trump Organization, which is currently led by Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, two of the president’s adult sons, concealed the remuneration it gave top executives between 2005 and 2021.
For his part in the scheme, longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg was given a five-month prison sentence on Tuesday and agreed to pay $2 million in fines.
He admitted to conspiring with the business to get undisclosed benefits like a rent-free condominium in an upscale neighborhood, luxury automobiles for him and his wife, and the admission of his grandchildren to an expensive private school. He also admitted to arranging for the benefits to happen.
As part of a plea agreement, the 75-year-old admitted 15 counts of tax fraud and gave testimony against the Trump Organization. Trump was not accused by him at the trial.
Trump called the investigation a “witch hunt” and insisted Weisselberg operated alone.
The former president has been accused of breaching the law numerous times, so Friday’s fine does not put a stop to his legal issues.
Donald Trump was impeached twice while serving as president between 2017 and 2021, once for abuse of authority and obstruction of justice and once for inciting an uprising in response to his supporters’ assault on the US Congress on January 6, 2021.
He should be tried for insurrection and conspiring to defraud the United States, the congressional investigation into January 6 found in December.
Trump is also being looked into for allegedly retaining highly sensitive documents unlawfully at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and impeding the inquiry into the matter.
He might be charged with a crime in Georgia for meddling with the election there in November 2020, which Trump lost to President Joe Biden.
Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, has also brought a civil lawsuit in New York against Donald Trump and three of his children, charging them with fraud for allegedly overvaluing their assets to obtain loans and then undervaluing them to save money on taxes.
James wants to fine Donald Trump and his children $250 million and bar them from holding executive positions in New York-based businesses.
Elsewhere A court denied Trump’s attempt to have a defamation and battery case filed by journalist E. Jean Carroll, who claims Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s in a New York department store, dismissed on Friday.
Trump calls the accusation a “total scam job” and denies it.