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Donald Trump’s Company ‘Trump Organization’ Faces $1.61 Million Tax Penalty

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Donald Trump's Company Faces $1.61 Million Tax Penalty

(CTN NEWS) – NEW YORK – After being found guilty of 15 years of conspiring to deceive tax authorities, a New York judge sentenced Donald Trump’s eponymous real estate company to pay a $1.61 million criminal fine on Friday.

After two Trump Organization affiliates were convicted guilty of 17 felony offenses last month, Justice Juan Merchan of the Manhattan criminal court handed down the sentence, which is the maximum permitted by state law.

After testifying as the prosecution’s key witness, Merchan sentenced Allen Weisselberg, who spent 50 years working for Trump’s family and served as the organization’s former chief financial officer, to five months in prison on Tuesday.

One of the defense attorneys, Susan Necheles, stated that Trump’s business intends to appeal. Nobody else was indicted.

Trump Organization Lawyers William Brennan and Michael van der Veen exit the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York City, U.S. January 13, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The prosecution was brought by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office is still looking into Trump’s financial operations.

According to Bragg, “this significant chapter of our ongoing investigation into the former president and his businesses is now closed with the sentencing today and earlier this week.” We shall now go on to the following chapter.

One of the prosecutors, Joshua Steinglass, seemed to lament the severity of the sentence, telling Merchan that the fine represented only a “small percentage” of the money earned by the Trump Organization.

Companies cannot be imprisoned or sentenced to jail.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives for the sentencing hearing of the Trump Organization at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York City, U.S. January 13, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Incorrect Rounding

White-collar crime expert Bill Black of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law described the punishment as a “rounding error” that provides “zero” deterrence.

He declared, “This is a farce.” “This sentence won’t deter anyone from committing crimes of this nature.”

In Georgia, former president Donald Trump holds a rally.

The former Republican president has long considered the case to be an attempt by Democrats to discredit him and his political views.

Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, has also filed a $250 million civil case against Trump and his adult children Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, charging them with misrepresenting their assets and their father’s net worth to avoid paying insurance and loan fees.

Democrats include Bragg, James, and Cyrus Vance, who brought the criminal case before Bragg. Trump lost his attempt for reelection in 2020 and is now running for president in 2024.

The entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

“SANCTIONED FROM THE TOP DOWN” FRAUD

Prosecutors presented evidence during a four-week trial that Trump’s business paid executives’ costs including rent and car leases, without disclosing them as revenue and that it falsely claimed that Christmas bonuses were non-employee remuneration.

Prosecutors claimed that Trump authorized the bonus checks, the lease for Weisselberg’s opulent Manhattan apartment, and the payment of the CFO’s grandchildren’s private school tuition.

Steinglass stated at the hearing on Friday that “a lot of these fraudulent actions were openly sanctioned from the top down.”

Weisselberg claimed that Donald Trump was not involved in the fraud plot while testifying on behalf of the government and declined to cooperate with Bragg in his larger probe of the former president.

Allen Howard Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO, appears for sentencing for tax fraud scheme in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 10, 2023. Curtis Means/Pool via REUTERS

Weisselberg was on paid leave until last week when the Trump Organization cut its relations with him. His lawyer claimed the separation, which was made public on Tuesday, was amicable.

The renowned Rikers Island prison in New York City is where Weisselberg, 75, is presently incarcerated.

In addition to the investigations into the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, his retention of confidential documents after leaving the White House, and his attempts to have his Georgia election loss in 2020 overturned, Trump also faces other legal issues.

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