A New York judge has ordered former US President Donald Trump’s namesake real estate company to pay a $1.6m criminal penalty after it was convicted of scheming to defraud tax authorities for 15 years.

Justice Juan Merchan of the Manhattan criminal court imposed the sentence on Friday after jurors last month found two Trump Organization affiliates guilty of 17 criminal charges

including conspiracy and falsifying business records. Trump himself was not on trial and denied any knowledge of his executives evading taxes.

The penalty was the maximum the judge could impose for a scheme in which the former president’s top executives dodged personal income taxes on lavish job perks,

While the fine – less than the cost of a Trump Tower apartment – isn’t big enough to impact the company’s operations or future,

the conviction is a black mark on the Republican’s reputation as a savvy businessman as he mounts a campaign to regain the White House.

Neither the former president nor his children, who have helped run and promote the Trump Organization, were in the courtroom for the sentencing.