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Trump Organization slapped with $1.6M fine for criminal tax fraud

Judge agrees to impose maximum penalty on former president's company after it was found guilty of committing 17 crimes

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Former US President Donald Trump’s multi-million dollar organization was ordered to pay a $1.6 million fine on Friday after being found guilty of criminal tax fraud and other crimes.

State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan reportedly ordered Trump’s company to pay the maximum fine after a New York jury found the organization of 17 crimes in December, most significantly tax fraud and falsifying business records, following a five-week trial.

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Prosecutors had asked Merchan to impose the maximum fine, which the judge ultimately agreed to, according to multiple reports. The sum represents double the amount in back taxes owed by the Trump organization.

The Trump Organization and longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg were indicted last year by the Manhattan district attorney’s office after a multi-year investigation into the financial practices of former US President Donald Trump’s company.

Two entities of the company — Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation — were convicted of paying the personal expenses of several top executives without reporting them as income and for compensating them as independent contractors instead of full-time employees, thus “cheating on their taxes” through the scheme, which included off-the-books perks like free apartments and luxury cars.

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Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in August to charges that he avoided paying nearly $2 million in taxes on company-provided perks, testified against the Trump Organization as part of a plea deal. The 75-year-old former executive was sentenced earlier this month to five months in jail after cooperating with prosecutors in the case against his longtime employer.