A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump and his company misrepresented the true value of multiple real estate properties for years, resulting in a fraud that vastly overstated the former president’s net worth by billions of dollars. It was ruled that he was responsible.
Judge Arthur Engoron’s bombshell verdict new york business certificates of Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization, and other defendants, including two of his sons; lawsuit By the state attorney general’s office.
The judge said he would appoint an independent administrator to manage the dissolution of the corporation whose business certificate was revoked.
It is unclear whether Engoron’s decision means the Trump Organization and its affiliates must cease operations in New York completely, or whether the companies can legally restructure at a later date.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Letitia James declined to comment on this question.
However, President Trump’s lawyer Chris Kiss called the decision “outrageous” and said the decision “recognizes that there is absolutely no evidence of default, violation, or default on debt obligations of America’s most successful companies. “We are trying to nationalize one of our empires and seize control of private property.” Claims for delayed payments or damages. ”
“While the full impact of this decision remains unclear, what is clear is that President Trump and his family will explore all available remedies on appeal to correct this miscarriage of justice,” Kise said.
Engoron’s ruling also denied Mr. Trump’s request to dismiss the suit, but named Mr. Engoron, the company, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer as defendants. Six other claims pending in the lawsuit were not resolved. Mr. Allen Weisselberg, a director, and Mr. Jeff McConney, a company director.
Those remaining issues in the claim will be addressed in a non-jury trial scheduled to begin Monday.
Mr. James is seeking $250 million in damages in the lawsuit, and asks that Mr. Trump and his two adult sons be barred from doing business in the state.
In granting partial summary judgment to James on fraud charges, Engoron said in statements to insurance companies and banks that Trump was seeking more favorable terms for insurance coverage and loans regarding multiple real estate assets. It was found that the company had been making false and misleading evaluations for many years.
As a result of these misstatements, Trump inflated his net worth by billions of dollars in his annual financial statements, according to the ruling.
“In the defendant’s world, rent-regulated apartments have the same value as unregulated apartments, and restricted land has the same value as unrestricted land. Restrictions can dissipate. On the other hand, “A disclaimer by one party that shifts liability onto another party absolves the other party of its lies,” Engoron wrote.
“It’s a fantasy world, not the real world.”
Engoron also ordered $7,500 sanctions against five lawyers who represented Trump for making frivolous and previously rejected claims in court filings. Kise was one of those sentenced to a fine by the judge.
“Today, a judge ruled in our favor, finding that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in years of financial fraud,” James said in a post on social media site X. .
“We look forward to presenting the remaining cases in court,” James added.
Trump, a front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is facing four separate criminal charges totaling 91 felonies. Two of those lawsuits are related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 reelection loss. The other lawsuit mentioned in Tuesday’s Engoron decision concerns the storage of classified government documents at the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
In a fourth criminal case, Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In his ruling, Engoron said the James firm in the civil fraud case “succeeded on liability under the first cause of action, as against all defendants.”
The judge added that if fraud liability is established under New York state law, the law allows the attorney general to obtain an injunction against the defendant from continuing to operate or from engaging in “any fraudulent or illegal conduct.”
Even after Engoron appointed an independent financial monitor for the Trump Organization last year, “defendants continued to spread false and misleading information while conducting their business,” the judge said.
“The continued disregard for this court’s previous orders, combined with the persistent nature of the falsehoods; [statements of financial condition] Year after year, the need for cancellation has been demonstrated. [defendants’ business] The certificate…is as provided by law,” the judge wrote.
Engoron’s 35-page judgment states that Trump owns the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, the Trump Park Avenue and 40 Wall Street properties in New York City, and the Seven Springs property in Westchester County, New York. It details how the fraudulent evaluation was carried out. , and his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.
“Time and time again, courts are not comparing one opinion to another; they are comparing an independent expert’s opinion to a pipe dream of fabricated possibilities. ” Engoron wrote.
A judge found that Trump falsely submitted a statement saying the Trump Tower apartment he lived in for decades was nearly three times its actual size and worth a whopping $327 million. “This discrepancy by the judges is of this order of magnitude,” he said. It seems like a scam for a real estate developer to arbitrarily decide on the space you live in that you have lived in for decades. ”
“The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in their businesses,” Engoron wrote.
“The defendants’ response is that the documents are silent, that there is no such thing as ‘objective’ value, and that essentially courts should not believe their lying eyes.” the judge pointed out.
Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Mr. Kise, said Mr. Engoron’s “outrageous decision is completely divorced from the facts and applicable law.”
“The court completely ignored the Appellate Division’s order and basic legal, accounting and business principles,” Kise said. “Without a trial, the court substituted its own judgment for the judgment of nationally recognized experts such as those at New York University’s Stern School of Business. More importantly, the court did not It ignored the views of those involved who testified that nothing had happened.”Although misleading, there was no fraud and the transactions were all highly profitable. ”
Another Trump lawyer, Alina Haba, said in a statement: “The Trump Organization is an American success story, and a judge who hasn’t even tried the case can make a summary judgment like this, saying there’s no question about the facts.” It’s important to remember the facts.” There are concerns about the judgment.”
Mr. Haba was one of the attorneys licensed by Engoron.
President Trump responded to the Engoron decision by reposting a statement on social media attacking James and the judge, while claiming a net worth far higher than that shown in the financial statements at the center of the fraud case. He doubled down on his claim that he had the.
“This is so unfair that I urge the New York State Supreme Court or the federal system to intervene,” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social website.
Eric Trump, who runs the Trump Organization with Donald Trump Jr., tweeted Tuesday that “in an attempt to destroy my father and force him out of New York, a judge has ordered the Palm’s Mar-a-Lago We have just made a judgment that there is.” Florida beaches are only worth about “$18 million.” ”
“There is speculation that Mar-a-Lago has value.” [well] Worth more than $1 billion, it is probably the most valuable residential property in the country. Everything is so corrupt and orchestrated,” Eric wrote.