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Court Determines Donald Trump Engaged in Fraudulent Activities During Real Estate Career

by Madison Thomas
8 comments
Trump Real Estate Fraud

A ruling was handed down on Tuesday by Judge Arthur Engoron, indicating that Donald Trump engaged in fraudulent activities over several years as he established the real estate empire that eventually propelled him into the political arena and, ultimately, the U.S. presidency.

The civil lawsuit, filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, concluded that the former president and his organization manipulated financial documents to deceive financial institutions, insurance companies, and other stakeholders. They inflated asset values and misrepresented net worth for the purpose of securing favorable loans and conducting transactions.

As a punitive measure, Judge Engoron revoked some of the business licenses held by the Trump Organization, seriously impeding its ability to conduct operations in the state of New York. Additionally, the judge mandated that an independent entity would continue to supervise activities within the Trump Organization.

Christopher Kise, legal counsel for Trump, immediately announced plans to appeal the ruling, denouncing it as a “perversion of justice” that is “utterly inconsistent with factual evidence and established law.”

Additional Coverage

Media attention has also been focused on the judge presiding over Trump’s indictment in Georgia, as well as moves by Trump’s lawyers to counter what they allege is a prosecutorial gag order in his 2020 federal election case. Even California, known for its liberal politics, might surprisingly bolster Trump’s chances in the 2024 election.

Kise further claimed that the decision aims to federalize a successful private business while seizing control of private assets, despite a lack of concrete evidence of financial misconduct or harm to any party.

Eric Trump, a Trump Organization executive and also a defendant in the lawsuit, expressed profound disillusionment with the New York judicial system, accusing it of being biased against his father.

Judge Engoron’s decision comes shortly before the initiation of a bench trial concerning other claims made in James’ lawsuit. This ruling serves as the most potent rebuttal thus far to Trump’s longstanding portrayal of himself as a savvy and wealthy business magnate.

Judge Engoron dismissed Trump’s argument that disclaimers on financial documents exonerated him, finding that such behavior constituted legal violations. Favorable loan terms and reduced insurance costs were among the benefits gained through these fraudulent practices.

The ruling was part of a summary judgment, resolving primary claims but leaving several others pending. The upcoming trial on October 2 will also address James’ request for $250 million in penalties. Trump’s legal team is seeking a temporary stay from an appellate court.

In her statement, Attorney General James expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling, while Trump’s lawyers had unsuccessfully moved for the case to be dismissed, arguing against its legal validity and the expiration of the statute of limitations on certain charges.

James initially filed the lawsuit a year ago, accusing Trump and his organization of inflating asset values, such as skyscrapers, golf courses, and his Mar-a-Lago estate, to exaggerate his financial standing.

The ruling could further complicate Trump’s real estate ventures and may tarnish his reputation as a developer. It adds another layer to the multitude of legal issues facing Trump, who is currently the Republican front-runner for the upcoming election.

Last year, the Trump Organization was convicted in an unrelated tax fraud case, resulting in a $1.6 million fine and a guilty plea from Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime financial chief, who also faces charges in James’ lawsuit.

James began her investigation into Trump’s business practices in March 2019 following testimony by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, that Trump had inflated his assets while attempting to acquire the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. James had also previously sued Trump for misusing his charitable foundation, leading to a $2 million fine and the dissolution of the Trump Foundation.

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Contributions to this report were made by Eric Tucker in Washington, D.C., Jill Colvin in Summerville, South Carolina, and Bernard Condon and David B. Caruso in New York.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Donald Trump Fraud Ruling

What was the ruling against Donald Trump?

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Donald Trump and his organization engaged in fraudulent practices for several years while establishing his real estate empire. This civil lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Who is the judge in this case?

The judge presiding over this case is Arthur Engoron.

What are the implications for Trump’s business?

The ruling has led to the revocation of some of Trump’s business licenses, thereby significantly affecting his ability to conduct business in the state of New York. An independent entity will also continue to supervise activities within the Trump Organization.

What does the legal team for Donald Trump plan to do next?

Donald Trump’s legal team, led by Christopher Kise, has announced their intent to appeal the ruling, calling it a “perversion of justice” and “utterly inconsistent with factual evidence and established law.”

What are the punitive measures imposed by the court?

The punitive measures include the revocation of some business licenses held by the Trump Organization, which will impede its ability to operate in New York. An independent monitor will also oversee the Trump Organization’s activities.

Are there any other claims in this lawsuit?

Yes, the ruling comes as part of a summary judgment, which resolves primary claims but leaves several others pending. A bench trial is set to start on October 2, where additional claims and a request for $250 million in penalties will be addressed.

Who else is involved in this lawsuit?

Apart from Donald Trump, Eric Trump, a Trump Organization executive, is also a defendant in this lawsuit. Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime financial chief, is also facing charges in this lawsuit.

Is this case related to other legal issues Donald Trump is facing?

Yes, this adds another layer to the multiple legal issues facing Donald Trump, including indictments in Georgia and Washington, D.C., for plotting to overturn his 2020 election loss, and in Florida for hoarding classified documents.

What was the reaction from Donald Trump and his family?

Eric Trump, an executive at the Trump Organization, expressed severe disillusionment with the New York judicial system and accused it of bias against his father.

What is the timeline for the upcoming trial?

The upcoming bench trial concerning other claims made in James’ lawsuit is set to start on October 2. Donald Trump’s legal team is seeking a temporary stay from an appellate court.

More about Donald Trump Fraud Ruling

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8 comments

NYnative September 27, 2023 - 12:47 am

So does this mean he can’t do business in NY anymore? Or just some of it getting shut down?

Reply
PoliticalWatcher September 27, 2023 - 1:06 am

Between this and the upcoming elections, Trump’s got a lot on his plate. Wonder how he’s gonna juggle it all.

Reply
SkepticalSally September 27, 2023 - 10:01 am

Call me cynical, but I’m waiting for the appeal. Theres always more to the story.

Reply
JohnDoe48 September 27, 2023 - 10:37 am

Wow, this is huge news! I can’t believe Trump’s licenses are getting revoked. what’s gonna happen next?

Reply
LegalEagle September 27, 2023 - 11:07 am

The fine print on this case is interesting. Summary judgement but still more to come? Oct 2 will be a day to watch.

Reply
CryptoQueen September 27, 2023 - 11:29 am

this is jus the tip of the iceberg. Wait till the other lawsuits start rolling in. Trump’s empire’s gonna crumble!

Reply
ConservativeGuy September 27, 2023 - 12:49 pm

I don’t buy it. feels like a witch hunt to me. why only now all these cases are coming out?

Reply
RealEstateMogul September 27, 2023 - 8:26 pm

As someone in the real estate industry, overvaluing assets isn’t uncommon, but this is on a whole new level. Can’t say im surprised.

Reply

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