Trump Organization's 'insanely low' fine for tax fraud raises questions: 'Probably less than they paid attorneys'
Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump (AFP)

The Trump Organization was fined $1.6 million for a long-running tax fraud scheme, and many considered the penalty too light.

The former president's family-owned business was convicted of 17 felony counts related to the scheme, which landed its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in jail for five months, but New York judge Juan Merchan was limited by state law in imposing a penalty against Donald Trump's company.

"The Trump Org. has been fined $1.6 million after its conviction for 17 felonies, including tax fraud and falsifying business records," said journalist Vicky Ward. "Under New York law, that is the maximum possible punishment."

"But...what if they were people?" added journalist Frank G. Runyeon. "On the crimes charged, I think: Trump Corporation: 0-42 yrs in prison Trump Payroll: 0-38 yrs."

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"A 'stinging rebuke' of the Trump Org, but also a stinging indictment of NY state law regarding corporate criminal liability, which imposes insanely low caps on financial penalties," said New York University law professor Daniel Hemel.

"Word of the day: Schadenfreude," said author Erica Verrillo.

"Fine of Trump Org probably less than they paid their attorneys," noted AFP national security correspondent Paul Handley.

"Less than they sheltered from tax annually using a Trump Org dummy corp to write off personal items," said Twitter user Zuck Turgidson. "Honestly the Trump sister who had to resign from the bench has paid the steepest penalty of all."

"Trump Org: TAX EVASION ,Trump University: FRAUD, Trump Foundation: STEALING CHARITY MONEY, Trump Hotels: FINANCIAL CRIMES, Trump Save America: WIRE FRAUD, Trump Campaign: CAMPAIGN FINANCE CRIMES," said Twitter user Billy D. Starchild. "Gosh, I wonder if there’s a common CRIMINAL behind all of these criminal entities."