“The sheer scale of this fraud deserves the largest financial sanction authorized by law,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass said at the company’s sentencing.
Steinglass said the company “fosters a pervasive culture of fraud, underreporting executive compensation, falsifying business records and otherwise enabling its senior executives to evade taxes to keep their own expenses as low as possible.”
Longtime Trump Organization finance chief Alan Weiselberg was a key witness against the company. He pleaded guilty to 15 counts in August and agreed to testify in exchange for a significantly reduced sentence of five months in prison and five years of probation imposed in court on Tuesday. He paid the government more than $2 million in back taxes, penalties and interest. He was jailed for up to 15 years.
The ruling will be appealed, Trump Organization spokeswoman Kimberly Benza said in a statement Friday.
In brief comments after the company’s sentencing, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the company’s sentence was “inadequate” and cited state corporate tax laws. There should be severe penalties for cheating.
Trump has not been charged in connection with the tax fraud scheme. Bragg’s office still has an open investigation into Trump’s business practices and other matters.