Trump and Sons Found Liable for Fraud, Trump Organization’s Business Certification Canceled
In a significant legal development, a New York judge, Arthur Engoron, has delivered a verdict holding former President Donald Trump and his adult sons responsible for fraud.
The ruling also entails the cancellation of the Trump Organization’s business certification.
Judge Engoron determined that the Trumps had provided false financial statements for approximately a decade.
Summary Judgment Granted in Favor of Attorney General
Judge Engoron’s decision arrived just days before the civil case, involving the New York attorney general’s office and Donald Trump, was scheduled for trial.
The judge granted Attorney General Letitia James’ motion for summary judgment, deeming Trump, his sons, and others “liable as a matter of law for persistent violations” of New York state law.
False Financial Statements and Allegations of Fraud
The crux of the ruling revolved around the veracity of financial statements submitted by the Trumps to lenders and insurers over the span of roughly ten years.
Judge Engoron concluded that these financial statements were false and that the Trumps had engaged in fraudulent practices repeatedly.
Impact and Legal Consequences
This ruling represents a significant setback for Donald Trump and underscores a rejection of his assertions that he did not artificially inflate the values of his various properties, including golf courses, hotels, and homes at Mar-a-Lago and Seven Springs, on financial documents frequently used in business transactions.
Statement from Attorney General James
Attorney General Letitia James, who has sought $250 million in damages, a ban on the Trumps from serving as officers of a business in New York, and a cessation of the Trump Organization’s business activities for five years, welcomed the decision.
She emphasized the importance of continuing the case at trial to present the complete argument.
Revocation of Business Certifications and Receiver Appointment
Judge Engoron’s ruling includes the revocation of business certifications for the Trump entities involved in the case, including the Trump Organization.
Additionally, a receiver will be appointed to oversee the dissolution of these corporate entities.
Specific Allegations and Exaggerated Valuations
Among the allegations against Trump is the inflation of the value of his triplex apartment at Trump Tower, which was purportedly inflated threefold.
This resulted in an overvaluation ranging from $114 million to $207 million.
Judge’s Strong Critique of Trump’s Defense
In his decision, Judge Engoron criticized Trump’s legal defense, comparing it to a famous line from the comedy “Duck Soup.”
He expressed that Trump’s defense was akin to saying, “Well, who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
Trump’s Response and Call for Intervention
Donald Trump swiftly condemned the ruling, accusing Judge Engoron of acting in concert with Attorney General James.
He also called for intervention from the highest courts in New York State or the federal system, asserting that the case was unjust.
Trump’s Legal Team’s Response
Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, characterized the ruling as “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”
He emphasized that Trump and his family would explore all available appellate remedies.
Eric Trump’s Reaction
Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons, expressed his disillusionment with the New York legal system in a statement on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
He characterized the ruling as an orchestrated effort to harm his family and their accomplishments, emphasizing the Trump Organization’s financial history and contributions.
This ruling marks a significant development in the legal challenges faced by Donald Trump, with potential far-reaching implications for his future legal battles.