Trump-owned companies hit with fines totaling $1.6 million

NBC News reported late last week that former President Donald Trump’s real estate firm was hit with fines totaling $1.6 million. 

According to the network, that penalty was imposed on Friday by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan after Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted in December of 17 criminal counts.

Fines are the largest allowed

The companies, both of which are subsidiaries of the larger Trump Organization, were found guilty of conspiracy, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.

Trump Corp. was ordered to pay $810,000 while Trump Payroll was fined another $800,000. Those penalties are the harshest ones available under New York state law, and they came at the urging of Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.

“The sheer magnitude of the fraud calls for the maximum possible fine for falsifying business records and helping senior managers evade taxes as they defrauded the tax authorities,” Steinglass declared.

“The crimes were deep, wide and long, lasting for decades,” he added, insisting that the companies’ “conduct can only be described as egregious.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg welcomed the ruling as well, stating, “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.”

Trump Organization responds

For their part, Trump Organization lawyers continue to maintain that any crimes were the work of one nefarious former employee and had no bearing on the company or members of the Trump family.

“This case was all about Allen Weisselberg committing tax fraud on his personal tax returns,” attorney Susan Necheles was quoted as saying following the verdict.

“Every witness repeatedly testified that President Trump and the Trump family knew nothing about Allen Weisselberg’s actions,” she went on to assert.

NBC News reported in August that former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August to multiple tax fraud charges.

As part of his plea agreement, the 75-year-old corporate executive was ordered to pay out nearly $2 million worth of taxes, interest, and penalties.

What’s more, Weisselberg was also required to serve a five month sentence behind bars at Rikers Island as well as spend another five years on probation.

“Rather than risk the possibility of 15 years in prison,” Weisselberg’s attorney Nicholas Gravante Jr. said in a statement. “We are glad to have this behind him.”