Trump Organization sentenced to $1.6 million fine for tax fraud
Composite image of Donald Trump and Trump Tower / Shutterstock

The Trump Organization was fined $1.6 million Friday after being convicted of running a 15-year tax fraud scheme, according to the Associated Press.

Company subsidiaries Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted last year of 17 counts, including criminal tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. Friday's sentencing by a New York judge does not directly impact former President Donald Trump, who was at the reins of the business for much of the time that the fraud was going on.

"The real estate business is not at risk of being dismantled because there is no mechanism under the law to dissolve the company," noted Kara Scannell for CNN in the hours leading up to the sentencing.

"However, a felony conviction could impact the Trump Organization’s reputation and ability to do business or obtain loans or contracts.

"Trump and his family were not charged in this case, but the former president was mentioned repeatedly during the trial by prosecutors about his connection to the un-taxed benefits doled out to certain executives, including company-funded apartments, car leases and personal expenses. One prosecutor said Trump 'explicitly sanctioned' tax fraud."

Central to the prosecution of the Trump Organization was chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, one of the longest-serving allies of the former president in his business. Weisselberg cut a deal for five months in jail in return for his testimony in which he admitted the company gave him $1.76 million in off-the-books benefits to avoid paying taxes, and indicating Trump's children were aware of it. He maintained that the former president himself was not involved.

The sentencing comes alongside a $250 million civil fraud suit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James against the former president and his family, alleging that they systematically manipulated the value of assets to avoid paying taxes. Trump has responded with a countersuit against James in Florida, claiming a "war of intimidation and harassment."

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It also comes as a Justice Department-appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, criminally investigate the former president in two separate cases: one looking at efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the second focused on the hoarding of classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.