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Trump Organization fined $1.6 million for tax fraud

January 13, 2023

It is the maximum penalty allowed by law but not the biggest legal worry the former president has.

The main entrance of Trump Tower with the inscription on it an a US flag. Trump Tower in New York city in the USA. 2020 archive image.
Image: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/picture alliance

The Trump Organization was ordered on Friday to pay a $1.61 million (€1.48 million) criminal penalty following its conviction on tax crimes.

Former US President Donald Trump's real estate company was convicted in December on 17 counts, including conspiracy charges and falsifying business records. The company was accused of helping executives dodge personal income taxes on perks, including Manhattan apartments and luxury cars.

Friday's penalties were the maximum permitted under state law.

Justice Juan Merchan of the Manhattan criminal court gave the company 14 days to pay.

Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to evading taxes on $1.7 million in compensation and became the prosecution's key witness in the case. On Tuesday he received a reduced sentence of five months in jail as part of his plea bargain.

Trump was not on trial and denied any knowledge of his executives evading taxes.

Lawyers for his company 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,'' they said.

Trump faces other legal woes.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office brought the case against the Trump Organization, was also conducting a criminal probe into Trump's business practices.

"The sentencing today, along with the sentencing earlier this week, closes this important chapter of our ongoing investigation into the former president and his businesses," Bragg told reporters. "We now will go on to the next chapter."

Trump also faces a $250 million civil lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing him and his adult children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric of inflating his net worth and his company's asset values to save on loans and insurance.

That case is scheduled to start in October.

lo/msh (AP, Reuters)