Donald Trump must pay a $354.9 million fine

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron on Friday ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $354.9 million in fines and barred him from holding executive positions in any New York company, including his own Trump Organization.

The former president was found guilty of inflating the value of his personal wealth and business while obtaining loans. Engoron’s verdict spans 92 pages.

The judge also ordered Trump’s sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. who were also defendants in the case, to each pay $4 million. Both of Trump’s sons are banned from doing business in New York state for two years.

In his ruling, Engoron ruled that in order to borrow at lower rates, Trump and his business partners provided “blatantly false” financial data to their accountants. “This resulted in fraudulent financial statements,” the court ruling said.

The judge noted that when those reports were introduced at trial, the defendants’ expert witnesses “simply denied reality,” and the defendants refused to accept responsibility or put in place internal controls to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The judge added that the defendants’ complete lack of remorse and remorse “borders on pathology.”

Engoron overturned his previous September 2023 ruling ordering the “dissolution” of the companies controlling Trump’s real estate empire. The judge said that was no longer necessary as he was appointing an independent monitor and compliance director to oversee Trump’s businesses.

The lawsuit against the former president and his family business was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James. It accused Trump and his sons of inflating the Trump Organization’s total assets by $3.6 billion a year for a decade to get better loan terms from banks.

On Friday night, Letitia James, commenting on Judge Engoron’s ruling in front of television cameras, said that “the court ruled in favor of every hard-working American who plays by the rules.”

“Today justice was served, today we proved that no one is above the law. No matter how rich, powerful or politically connected you are, everyone must play by the same rules,” said the New York attorney general. – “Although Donald Trump is the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ he has perfected the art of stealing.”

James did not take questions from reporters and left the room immediately after her statement.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said after Judge Engoron’s verdict that the decision was a “manifest injustice” and “the culmination of a years-long, politically fueled witch hunt” against Trump.

“It’s not just about Donald Trump – if this decision stands, it will send a message to every American that New York City is no longer open for business,” Hubba said, adding that she plans to appeal.

In a comment on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump called the verdict “an illegal, un-American verdict against me, my family and my huge business.” “This ‘decision’ is a complete and utter profanity,” Trump wrote.

Making the special comment from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the former president accused New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron of political persecution and denied all charges.

At this point, it is unknown what access to cash financial resources Trump has, and estimates of his wealth vary. The Forbes publication gave a total estimate of Trump’s net worth of $2.6 billion. In April 2023, Trump testified that he has approximately $400 million in cash on hand.

Trump is leading by a wide margin in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination despite a host of other legal challenges.

He faces charges in four criminal cases. One of them, involving cash payments to a porn actress ahead of the 2016 election, is also pending in New York. The judge overseeing the case set a March 25 trial date on Thursday, despite objections from Trump’s attorneys, who sought to delay the case because of Trump’s busy legal and political schedule.

He has also been indicted in Florida for his handling of classified documents after leaving the presidency, and in Washington and Georgia for trying to undo his defeat in the 2020 election.

Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges in all four criminal cases.

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