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In A New York Corporate Fraud Lawsuit, Trump Slapped Fines And Interest Of $454 Million

In A New York Corporate Fraud Lawsuit, Trump Slapped Fines And Interest Of $454 Million
A New York judge ruled in the former president's civil business fraud trial on Friday, ordering him to pay a total of approximately $454 million in penalties.
According to an attorney general's office spokesperson, the astounding amount includes more than $98 million in prejudgment interest that will collect daily until it is paid, along with around $355 million in disgorgement—a word for surrendering ill-gotten gains.
Additionally, Trump was prohibited from operating a business in New York for three years by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.

In addition, the former president will not be permitted to seek for loans from financial institutions that are state-registered for three years.
“New York means business in combating business fraud,” Engoron wrote in the 92-page ruling.
The trial was held without a jury, and the judge rendered the ultimate verdict.
“We’ve employed tens of thousands of people in New York, and we pay taxes like few other people have ever paid in New York,” Trump said in remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort after the ruling. “They don’t care about that. It’s a state that’s going bust because everybody’s leaving.”
Trump "will of course appeal," according to a statement made earlier on Friday by his lawyer Chris Kise."It is my belief that the Appellate Division will eventually rectify the numerous and disastrous mistakes that a trial court that was not bound by the law or reality made," stated the former president, Kise.

The resolution of the appeals process may take several years.
The dramatic trial resulted from a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who charged Trump, his corporation, his two adult sons, and key officials with falsifying their assets to inflate their declared net worth and receive other financial benefits.
“There simply cannot be different rules for different people,” James said in a statement celebrating the ruling Friday afternoon.
“Everyday Americans cannot lie to a bank to get a mortgage to buy a home, and if they did, our government would throw the book at them,” James said.
James had requested that Engoron disgorge $370 million and permanently bar Trump from the New York real estate market.

Rather, Engoron disgorged $354,868,768 from Trump. Additionally, he mandated that Trump pay prejudgment interest of $98.6 million, which will accrue at a 9% yearly rate. Including disgorgement and interest, the total amount all defendants in the case have paid out is little less than $464 million.
Of that amount, more than $4 million must be paid by each of Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who assumed control of the Trump Organisation following their father's election as president in 2017.

In addition, there is a two-year restriction on Eric and Donald Jr. acting as directors or officials of any company or organisation based in New York.
Engoron decided that co-defendants Allen Weisselberg, the former CFO of the Trump Organisation, and Jeffrey McConney, the comptroller, would be barred from managing the finances of any New York corporation for life.

However, the judge overturned his earlier order to revoke the defendants' business certificates, indicating that he will no longer pursue what some legal experts referred to as the Trump Organization's "corporate death penalty."

The ruling is merely the most recent in a string of penalties issued by the court on Trump, who is a presidential candidate juggling multiple legal and criminal lawsuits.
In a related legal case in federal court in New York, a jury last month rendered a verdict ordering Trump to pay $83.3 million for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll after he addressed her allegation that he had sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s.

As the overwhelming favourite to win the Republican presidential nomination, Trump will almost certainly face President Joe Biden again after Biden defeated him in 2020.

Attorneys for Trump and the other defendants swiftly denounced Friday's decision, charging the prosecution and the judge with political bias and threatening to drive businesses out of New York as a result.
“Countless hours of testimony proved that there was no wrongdoing, no crime, and no victim,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a statement.
However, Engoron stated in his decision that a victim need not suffer a financial loss for the Act to be used in this situation.

The defendants' timely payment of the needed sums is undeniable; the lenders who receive the next batch of phoney accounts might not be as fortunate, the author added.

In an effort to obtain a better credit deal, the defendants "submitted blatantly false financial data," thereby "resulting in fraudulent financial statements," according to Engoron. He also cited the legal defences mounted by the Trump team, arguing that they demonstrated that, absent his coercion, the business and its executives would continue to conduct themselves in the same manner.
“When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants’ fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality,” the judge wrote.
The judge concluded that they "will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained" as a result of their "refusal to admit error."

Actually, according to Trump's testimony during the trial, "he does not think the Trump Organisation needs to make any changes even today," Engoron noted.

"Their utter lack of regret and repentance verges on the pathological."

Trump has repeatedly blasted his numerous legal disputes as "witch hunts," alleging they are a part of a plot to destroy his political chances, backed by the Biden administration.

In the New York fraud case, he angrily denied any wrongdoing and bragged about his complete innocence on social media, in court, and even when testifying.
Trump maintained that a disclaimer on the records shielded him from culpability for any inaccuracies, even though his declared net worth was substantially higher than what was shown on his financial accounts.

But before the trial had started, Engoron declared Trump and the other defendants guilty of fraud.

Engoron handed down a stunning pretrial decision, granting summary judgement on James' primary claim that the defendants violated New York law by engaging in fraud.

According to Engoron, Trump overstated the value of his assets by between $812 million and $2.2 billion in his declarations of financial status between 2014 and 2021.

Trump and his co-defendants were accused in the ruling of attempting to persuade the court to "not believe its own eyes," which severely damaged Trump's defence arguments.
The purpose of the trial was to settle further allegations of misconduct from James' complaint as well as to establish the penalty amount that would need to be paid.

Trump used the trial as a soapbox to vent his frustrations about those he believed to be his political opponents, including those who were seated just feet away from him in the courtroom.

Trump blasted James and Engoron on the witness stand, supporting the principles stated in his financial condition reports. In addition, Trump viciously attacked Michael Cohen, his personal attorney and longtime fixer, who claimed that Trump had given him instructions to fabricate his wealth.
Trump's tirade has repercussions. A narrow gag order was imposed by Engoron on the second day of the trial when Trump publicly disparaged Allison Greenfield, the judge's principal law clerk, while she was seated in court.

Trump was fined $15,000 for breaking the gag order twice in a span of four weeks.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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