Judge Hands Down Ruling in Trump NY Civil Fraud Case

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Judge Hands Down Ruling in Trump NY Civil Fraud Case  James

Former President Donald Trump has been prohibited from conducting business in New York for a duration of three years and is liable for damages exceeding $350 million in a civil fraud case.

This case was initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization.

The ruling was delivered on Friday by New York Judge Arthur Engoron after a trial that commenced in October, based on allegations by James that Trump had exaggerated his assets’ value and engaged in fraudulent activities.

Engoron imposed a fine of $364 million on Trump. Additionally, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are forbidden from holding any officer or director positions within any New York corporation or legal entity for two years.

The lawsuit by Attorney General James accused Trump and the Trump Organization of engaging in fraudulent business practices. Throughout the court proceedings, Engoron placed Trump under a partial gag order to limit his criticism of court staff.

James had initially sought $370 million plus 9% interest in penalties from Trump, with any awarded funds designated for the New York State Treasury, subject to direction by the state comptroller.

Trump consistently labeled the trial as a “witch hunt,” accusing Engoron and James of political bias. The absence of a jury in the trial was a point of contention for Trump’s legal team.

“There was never an option to choose a jury trial,” a spokesperson for Trump told Fox News. “It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

Trump and his family have denied any misconduct, with Trump asserting that his assets were undervalued. He emphasized that his financial statements contained disclaimers advising banks to perform their own evaluations.

Throughout the trial, witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank executives, testified on Trump’s behalf, describing him as a highly sought-after client. Expert witnesses, such as New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, also testified, finding no evidence of accounting fraud in Trump’s financial statements.

“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified, addressing concerns over the valuation of Trump’s assets.

The office of Attorney General James had requested that Engoron impose a five-year ban on Trump, his sons, and other defendants from applying for loans in New York and restrict the Trump Organization from engaging in real estate activities for the same period.

Trump has criticized James for her public statements against him, highlighting her description of him as an “existential threat” and her commitment to challenging him legally.

Engoron’s decision follows a September ruling where he found Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud in their real estate dealings by misleading banks, insurers, and others about the value of assets and Trump’s net worth. This ruling adds to Trump’s legal challenges, including a recent order to pay over $83 million in a defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.