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The justice system is often slow to give equal punishment to wealthy lawbreakers, but one judge has had it with the Trump Organization’s schemes. On Friday, Judge Juan Merchan ordered two Trump Org. companies to pay $1.6 million in fines for criminal tax fraud.
Friday’s sentencing represents the maximum penalty allowed in the case and double the amount of taxes that the organization avoided. It comes a month after a New York jury found the Trump Org. guilty on 17 counts, according to CBS News.
Executives at Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation were found guilty of illegally reducing payroll liability through untaxed bonus and high-end perks. Worth millions, the dancing around the IRS has finally come to an end. While Donald Trump wasn’t found personally responsible, it adds to an atmosphere of corruption around a man who once bragged about cheating the financial system.
Chickens come home to roost at Trump Organization
Back in 2016, when Trump participated in a presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, she accused him of avoiding paying his taxes.
“The only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax,” Clinton said at the time.
“That makes me smart,” Trump responded.
Despite avoiding the severe penalties handed down to two organizations linked to him, Trump is still under investigation, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Meanwhile, Trump’s defense attorneys have tried to point the blame at his longtime former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. After entering a guilty plea in August, Weisselberg has begun cooperating with prosecutors.
“Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg,” Trump’s defense attorneys repeatedly told the judge. Yet Weisselberg, in his three days of testimony, pointed to instances in which Trump and two of his children signed off on the checks.
“A number of these actions were implicitly sanctioned from the top down,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass said.