Donald Trump fined $365 million fine in fraud suit and banned in New York

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In a significant legal blow, Donald Trump and his real estate organization were penalized in a New York civil fraud case, with a ruling that prevents the former president from managing any enterprise within the state for a duration of three years, alongside a directive to pay $364 million in fines, inclusive of interest.

This substantial legal defeat stems from accusations within the civil fraud lawsuit in New York, asserting that Trump had overestimated the worth of his assets. This judgment also extends to Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, holding them accountable and restricting their ability to serve as company officers in New York for two years.

Donald trump
Trump Tower

The case, which unfolded over a three-month trial, was propelled by claims from New York Attorney General Letitia James that Trump had exaggerated the values of assets in financial statements for over a decade. This was allegedly done to mislead institutions such as Deutsche Bank AG, securing more favorable terms on substantial loans.

Key evidence suggested that Trump’s declared net worth was overstated by up to $3.6 billion annually between 2011 and 2021, with the inflation of values involving non-existent luxury properties, overvaluation of land regardless of development constraints, and inclusion of uncontrolled cash proceeds.

Trump faced scrutiny for significantly overestimating the size of his Trump Tower penthouse, which he claimed was worth over $300 million, a figure disputed until Forbes magazine highlighted the discrepancy.

The imposed fine primarily derives from the $168 million Trump purportedly saved through reduced interest rates on loans, obtained by falsifying his financial status. Additionally, the penalty includes earnings from the Old Post Office hotel transaction in Washington and the sale of the Ferry Point golf course in New York, profits the state contends were unattainable without asset value inflation. The total also encompasses the recovery of bonuses paid to employees implicated in the fraudulent activities.

Justice Arthur Engoron’s 92-page verdict in Manhattan poses a significant threat to Trump’s real estate ventures and adds to his legal troubles as he seeks a political comeback.

Trump’s lead attorney at the trial, Christopher Kise, criticized the ruling as excessively harsh and unconstitutional, denouncing it as an overreach of authority.

This case marks another instance where Trump’s business endeavors have been curtailed by legal actions from the New York attorney general, recalling the 2016 settlement where Trump agreed to a $25 million payment to resolve a fraud lawsuit against Trump University, which was accused of defrauding numerous students.

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