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Trump Organization hit with $1.6 million fine for criminal tax fraud scheme

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The entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 19, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

The Trump Organization, former President Donald Trump’s business empire, was hit with a $1.6 million fine Friday for tax fraud and other crimes committed as part of a yearslong scheme to help some of its top executives avoid paying taxes on compensation.

The Trump Corp. and The Trump Payroll Corp., two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization, were both sentenced to the maximum-possible fines under New York laws.

They were found guilty last month on 17 counts, including tax fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy as part of what prosecutors had called a “sweeping and audacious” scheme to compensate company executives “off the books.” The verdict by a New York City jury marked the first-ever criminal convictions of Trump’s companies.

One of those executives was former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges last summer and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against his longtime employer.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office accused Weisselberg of receiving more than $1.7…

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