Judge Rules Donald Trump
Consequently, the choice issued a directive to switch management of certain entities related to the previous president far from his possession and advocated their dissolution.
Judge Arthur Engoron
In a civil lawsuit presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron and initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, it was determined that Trump and his organization employed deceptive practices.
They were found to have significantly inflated the value of their assets. They misrepresented Trump’s net worth on various documents essential for negotiating deals and obtaining loans from banks, insurers, and other parties.
New York Attorney
Engoron not only ordered the revocation of certain business licenses held by Trump’s enterprises as a punitive measure but also made it significantly difficult, if not impractical, for them to continue their operations in the state of New York.
Furthermore, the judge mandated the continued presence of an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s activities.
Truth Social Platform
Taking to his Truth Social platform, he asserted, “My civil rights were violated. I firmly consider that an Appellate Court, whether or not federal or national, needs to overturn this troubling and un-American verdict.
Trump contended that his agency had made outstanding contributions to the nation of New York and had continuously performed its enterprise affairs with the very best diploma of precision. He characterized the scenario as “an unlucky day for the New York State justice system.
Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, has announced their intention to file an appeal, characterizing the judgment as “wholly divorced from the factual evidence and legal principles.
Judge Engoron decision, which comes just days before the commencement of a non-jury trial in Attorney General James’ lawsuit, represents the most resounding rejection to date of Trump’s meticulously cultivated image as a prosperous and astute real estate tycoon who transitioned into a significant political figure.
In addition to simply boasting about his wealth, Judge Engoron determined that Trump, along with his organization and critical executives, habitually provided false information regarding their finances in annual financial statements. This deception resulted in various benefits, including more favorable loan conditions and reduced insurance expenses.
The judge unequivocally stated that these tactics had crossed legal boundaries, dismissing Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on the financial statements exonerated him from any wrongdoing.
In a comprehensive 35-page ruling, Judge Engoron critiqued the defendants’ perspective, stating that they regarded rent-regulated apartments as equivalent in value to unregulated ones, believed restricted land held the same worth as unrestricted land, and assumed that constraints could simply vanish into thin air. The judge firmly stated that such a viewpoint existed in a fantasy world, one that diverged from reality.
Attorney General James
Notably, Manhattan prosecutors had explored the possibility of pursuing criminal charges for similar actions but ultimately chose not to do so. This left Attorney General James as the one to file a lawsuit against Trump, seeking penalties aimed at disrupting his and his family’s ability to engage in business endeavors.
Judge Engoron’s decision, which comes during the summary judgment phase of the case, addresses the central allegation in Attorney General James’ lawsuit. However, there are several other claims yet to be resolved.
These pending claims, as well as James’ request for $250 million in penalties, will be deliberated upon in a trial scheduled to commence on October 2.
Donald Trump legal team has sought a delay from an appeals court.
In response to the ruling, Attorney General James expressed satisfaction, stating, “Today, a judge ruled in our favor and found that Donald Trump and the Donald Trump Organization engaged in years of financial fraud. We eagerly anticipate presenting the remaining aspects of our case during the upcoming trial.”
Donald Trump’s Actions
Donald Trump legal team had also pursued a summary judgment, urging the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of public harm resulting from Trump’s actions.
They further contended that numerous allegations in the lawsuit were time-barred due to statute of limitations constraints.
Judge Engoron, who had previously rejected these arguments earlier in the case, likened them to the repetitive storyline in the movie “Groundhog Day.”
He imposed fines of $7,500 each on five defense lawyers as a penalty for presenting “repetitive, frivolous” arguments. However, he denied Attorney General James’ request to sanction Donald Trump and the other defendants.
Attorney General James, a Democrat, filed the lawsuit against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization a year ago, alleging that they routinely exaggerated the value of assets such as skyscrapers, golf courses, and the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, thereby inflating Donald Trump financial standing by billions.
Engoron’s findings revealed that Donald Trump consistently inflated the value of Mar-a-Lago, with one financial statement exaggerating its worth by as much as 2,300%. Additionally, the judge chastised Trump for providing false information regarding the size of his Manhattan apartment.
Trump claimed that his three-story penthouse in Trump Tower was nearly three times its actual size, valuing it at $327 million.
Engoron concluded, “A discrepancy of this magnitude, especially when it concerns a real estate developer assessing his own living space over decades, can only be categorized as fraudulent.
Following the ruling, Eric Donald Trump remained steadfast in asserting the accuracy of his father’s claims regarding Mar-a-Lago.
He stated that the Palm Beach estate is widely speculated to be valued at well over a billion dollars, potentially making it the most valuable residential property in the country.
He characterized the ruling and the lawsuit as an endeavor to undermine his father and expel him from New York.
In accordance with the ruling, limited liability companies that hold control over significant Donald Trump properties, including 40 Wall Street, will be dissolved, and the authority to manage them will be transferred to a receiver.
Consequently, Trump would lose his decision-making power over matters such as personnel decisions, office space rentals, and other crucial determinations.
Christopher Kise, Donald Trump attorney, remarked,
The decision seeks to nationalize one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property, all while acknowledging there is zero evidence of any default, breach, late payment, or any complaint of harm.
Attorney General James
Attorney General James’ lawsuit is just one of several legal challenges facing Donald Trump who is currently the leading Republican candidate in the upcoming election.
Over the past six months, he has faced four indictments:
one in Georgia and another in Washington, D.C., for alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, one in Florida for alleged mishandling of classified documents, and one in Manhattan for falsifying business records linked to hush money payments made on his behalf. In a separate, unrelated criminal case last year, the Donald Trump Organization was found guilty of tax fraud.
Chief Allen Weisselberg
This conviction stemmed from the organization’s assistance to its executives in evading taxes on various benefits, including apartments and cars, resulting in a $1.6 million fine. Notably, one high-ranking executive, Donald Trump longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and served a five-month jail term.
Attorney General James
Previously, Attorney General James’ office also filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for the misuse of his charitable foundation to advance both his political and business interests.
This legal action led to Donald Trump being ordered to donate $2 million to charity as a penalty, while his charitable foundation, the Donald Trump Foundation, was forced to cease its operations.