In a major blow to former President Donald Trump, a New York judge has ruled that he committed fraud by misrepresenting his wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars. The ruling came as part of a civil case brought against Trump and his family business, alleging that they defrauded banks and insurers for years. The judge determined that Trump overvalued properties, such as Mar-a-Lago and his penthouse at Trump Tower, in order to obtain favorable loan terms and pay less tax. This ruling will likely hamper Trump’s ability to do business in the state and has significant implications for his ongoing legal battles.
New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump, his two adult sons, and the Trump Organization of inflating property values by over $2 billion to serve their business interests. She claimed that they issued false records and financial statements to secure better loan and insurance deals and evade taxes. Judge Arthur Engoron, in his scathing decision, found that Trump had indeed committed fraud, specifically highlighting the overvaluation of Mar-a-Lago by 2,300% and the exaggeration of his penthouse’s size by claiming it was three times larger than its actual size. With the key claim of fraud now resolved, the trial will proceed to focus on the remaining six claims and determine potential penalties.
The trial, scheduled to begin on October 2nd, is expected to last until at least December. James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump conducting business in New York. The judge’s ruling also included the cancellation of business certificates for some of Trump’s businesses, potentially jeopardizing his control over significant New York properties. Trump’s legal team plans to appeal the ruling, arguing that it is a miscarriage of justice. The former president has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has labeled the case as another politically motivated “witch hunt.” As Trump faces multiple legal battles, this ruling adds to the challenges he faces as he campaigns for a potential rematch with President Joe Biden in the upcoming election.
In summary, a New York judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump committed fraud, misrepresenting his wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars. The ruling came as part of a civil case, accusing Trump and his family business of inflating property values to obtain favorable terms and evade taxes. The judge determined that Trump overvalued properties and exaggerated the size of his penthouse, labeling these actions as fraudulent. The ruling resolves the key claim of fraud, paving the way for the trial to focus on the remaining claims and determine potential penalties. Trump’s legal team plans to appeal the ruling, while he continues to deny any wrongdoing, labeling the case as a politically motivated “witch hunt.”