NEW YORK (AP) — When Donald Trump’s company was sentenced by a New York judge on Friday for helping executives evade taxes, the harshest penalty was a $1.6 million fine and a Trump Tower apartment. is not enough to buy
Neither the former president nor his children, who helped run and promote the Trump Organization, are expected to be in court for sentencing hearings. The company is represented by its attorneys.
Because the Trump Organization is a corporation, not an individual, a fine is the only way a judge can punish the company after being convicted last month of 17 tax violations, including collusion and falsification of business records.
By law, the maximum fine that Judge Juan Manuel Merchan can impose is about $1.6 million, which is a small group of executives who can afford to pay rent-free apartments in Trump buildings, luxury cars, private school tuition, etc. Equivalent to double the taxes avoided on profits. .
Trump himself was never tried and denied knowledge that his executives had illegally evaded taxes.
While a fine of that amount is unlikely to affect the company’s operations or future, the conviction will help Republicans’ reputations as seasoned businessmen as they launch a campaign to take back the White House. Adversely affect.
Besides the company, only one other executive was indicted in the case. The former Trump organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to tax evasion of $1.7 million in compensation last summer.
He was sentenced to five months in prison on Tuesday.
Trump has said the lawsuit against his company was part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” carried out against him by a vindictive Democrat. vowed to appeal.
The criminal case involved financial practices and salary arrangements that the company suspended when Trump was elected president in 2016.
During his years as the company’s chief moneyman, Weisselberg received a rent-free apartment in a Trump-branded building in Manhattan with views of the Hudson River. was driving a car. When his grandchildren attend private private schools, Trump paid for their tuition.
A few other executives received similar benefits.
When asked to testify against the Trump Organization at trial, Weisselberg said he did not pay taxes on the rewards and that he and the company’s vice president conspired to provide the company with forged W-2 forms. was issued to cover up the benefits.
Weisselberg also tried to take responsibility on the witness stand, saying no one in the Trump family knew what he was doing. I was greedy.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization repeated the mantra, “Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg,” claiming he went rogue and betrayed the company’s trust.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steingras tried to refute the allegations in his closing arguments, showing jurors the lease Trump signed for the Weisselberg apartment.
“Mr. Trump clearly sanctions tax evasion,” Steingras argued.
A jury found the company guilty of tax evasion on December 6.
The company’s fines have little impact on bottom line profits for a company with a global portfolio of golf courses, hotels and development contracts. You may face more problems outside.
The Trump Organization’s conviction and sentencing won’t end Trump’s battle with Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who took office in January. Trump’s related investigation, which began below, is “active and ongoing,” he said, adding that newly hired prosecutors are leading the charge.
At the same time, New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging they misled banks and others about the value of its many assets.
Democrat James is asking a court to ban Trump and his three older children from running a New York-based company, seeking fines of at least $250 million. A judge has set a trial date for October. As a precautionary measure, he appointed a company monitor while the lawsuit was pending.
Trump faces several other legal challenges as he seeks to retake the White House in 2024.
A special grand jury in Atlanta has investigated whether Trump and his allies committed any crimes in an attempt to reverse Georgia’s 2020 presidential election loss.
Last month, a January 6 committee in the House of Representatives voted to refer criminals to the Justice Department for Trump’s role in sparking the riots at the U.S. Capitol. The FBI is also investigating Trump’s storage of classified documents.
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