Trump ordered to pay $354m and banned from running businesses for three years in New York fraud case

Donald Trump must pay $354.9 million in penalties for fraudulently overstating his net worth to dupe lenders.

A New York judge ruled on Friday handing the former US President the fine in another legal setback in a civil case that imperils his real estate empire.

Justice Arthur Engoron also banned Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years.

The lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump and his family businesses of overstating his net worth by as much $3.6billion a year over a decade to fool bankers into giving him better loan terms.

Donald Trump

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the case a political vendetta by James, an elected Democrat. Trump is expected to appeal Friday's ruling by Engoron.

Engoron wrote: "Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological...Instead, they adopt a 'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' posture that the evidence belies."

The civil fraud case could deal a major blow to Trump's real estate empire he leads the race for the Republican nomination to challenge President Joe Biden in the upcoming US election.

Engoron had previously ruled in September that Trump had engaged in fraud and ordered his business empire be partially dissolved. The ruling came after a contentious three-month trial in Manhattan.

During his testimony, Trump conceded that some of his property values were inaccurate but insisted banks were obligated to do their own due diligence.


Donald Trump

Trump, 77, is currently under indictment in four criminal cases, including one in New York related to hush money payments he made to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

The judge overseeing that case on Thursday set a March 25 trial date over the objections of Trump's lawyers, who sought to delay it due to Trump's crowded legal and political schedule.

Trump has also been charged in Florida for his handling of classified documents upon leaving office and in Washington and in Georgia for his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. He has pleaded not guilty in all four cases.

In the New York case, Trump and his adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric, were defendants in the case. Don Jr. and Eric Trump were each ordered by the judge to pay $4million.

Trump's lawyer Alina Habba said in a statement that the New York ruling was a "manifest injustice" and "culmination of a multi-year, politically fueled witch hunt" against him.

She said: "This is not just about Donald Trump - if this decision stands, it will serve as a signal to every single American that New York is no longer open for business."

from GB News

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