Donald Trump’s company was fined $1.6 million Friday for a scheme in which the former president’s top executives dodged personal income taxes on lavish job perks — a symbolic, hardly crippling blow for an enterprise boasting billions of dollars in assets.
A fine was the only penalty a judge could impose on the Trump Organization after its conviction last month for 17 tax crimes, including conspiracy and falsifying business records.
The amount imposed by Judge Juan Manuel Merchan was the maximum 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.
Merchan gave the company 14 days to pay.
Trump himself was not on trial and 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.
While the fines — less than the cost of a Trump Tower apartment — aren’t big enough to impact the company’s operations or future, the conviction is a black mark on the Republican’s reputation as a savvy businessman as he mounts a campaign to regain the White House.
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