Could Trump lose his business empire in New York fraud case?  |  News

Could Trump lose his business empire in New York fraud case? | News

Former US President Donald Trump may be banned from real estate business in New York.

Trump has been accused of securing loans with false financial statements for several years. After more than three months of heated litigation, a Manhattan court is set to announce its decision this week.

The New York fraud case is just one of several lawsuits heating up against Trump, even as he moved closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month after winning the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.

Here’s what we know about this civil case and how it could affect Trump’s presidential campaign:

What is the job about?

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil suit on September 21, 2023, against the former president, The Trump Organization, and top business executives — even though the investigation into the former president’s business dealings had been ongoing for nearly three years.

The complaint accuses James Trump and officials of The Trump Organization, including his children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr., of “knowingly and willfully” creating more than 200 inflated financial appraisals between 2011 and 2021 that helped the company obtain favorable loans. did. $250 million from banks and insurance companies.

Those actions violated New York’s Anti-Fraud Enforcement Act, James wrote in his lawsuit seeking $250 million in punitive damages against Trump.

Senior Trump Organization executives Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney were also named as defendants, along with Trump-owned companies and entities such as 40 Wall Street, a skyscraper in Manhattan’s financial district. Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are co-defendants in the case.

What did the judge say about Trump?

In a final ruling dated September 27, 2023, essentially resolving the main claims in the lawsuit, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump had committed years of fraud by massively inflating his real estate holdings to lenders. For example, his Mar-a-Lago estate was found to be inflated in a statement by nearly 2,300 percent of its actual value.

Judge Engoron liquidated some companies owned by the former president and also ordered the cancellation of The Trump Organization’s business license and appointed an independent monitor to oversee the company.

Trump denied wrongdoing and appealed the initial ruling. In October, the appeals court temporarily suspended the business liquidation part of the decision. Trump’s lawyers claimed that about 1,000 workers could be affected. James’ team has said it is ready to suspend the enforcement process pending a final decision.

In the impeachment trial, which was charged to address other allegations in the attorney general’s lawsuit, Trump’s attorneys sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the lawsuit was politically motivated; that its accountants were guilty of false financial statements; and that no specific individual or entity has been harmed by said statements.

Could this affect Trump’s political campaign?

Trump’s presidential campaign has played on the civil suit and numerous legal challenges facing the Republican nominee ahead of November’s presidential election.

The former president has targeted not only him, but his supporters as well, by appearing in court proceedings where he is not legally required to attend and giving impassioned speeches to rally supporters behind opponents trying to block his re-election.

He also used these court speeches to insult government officials. Trump has accused New York Attorney General James of targeting him for political reasons, calling him a “political hack” who won office because he promised to go after him.

Despite the judge’s refusal, Trump appeared in court at the conclusion of the fraud trials on January 11, saying the case was “a fraud on me.”

“We have a situation where I’m an innocent person, I’m being harassed by someone who’s running for office,” Trump said, referring to James, a Democrat who tried to run for New York governor in the 2022 election but later ran. “They want to make sure I don’t win again,” he added.

Throughout the three-month trial, Trump supporters insulted the judge, calling Engoro a biased “Trump hater.” He also attacked Engoro’s legal secretary, Allison Greenfield, on social media platform Truth Social, saying she was “politically biased and out of control”.

Judge Engoron ordered the former president to gag and later fined him $15,000 for violating it.

Can Trump be criminally punished?

Civil cases like these usually result in monetary penalties and prohibitions called injunctions, unlike criminal cases, which typically result in prison terms.

In his lawsuit against James Trump, he recommended the punishment: that the former president and his children be stripped of their leadership roles in The Trump Organization, and that Trump and businesses be prohibited from buying any real estate in New York. the next five years.

In addition, the attorney general recommended that Trump and The Trump Organization be prohibited from obtaining any loans for five years and that independent monitors and trustees be appointed for The Trump Organization.

As Judge Engoro’s final decision nears, it will complement his previous decisions to revoke the licenses of some of Trump’s companies, suspend others, and monitor others independently.

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