A judge in New York has found former President Donald Trump and his adult sons liable for fraud, canceling the Trump Organization’s business certification. Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that the Trumps had provided false financial statements for approximately ten years, repeatedly engaging in fraud. The judge’s decision came just days before the civil case between the New York attorney general’s office and Trump was set to go to trial. Attorney General Letitia James has sought $250 million in damages and a five-year ban on the Trumps serving as officers of a business in New York.
Judge Engoron canceled the business certifications of the Trump entities involved in the case and appointed a receiver to oversee the dissolution of the corporate entities. However, there are still questions regarding how the properties involved will be dissolved, whether the ruling will impact properties outside of New York state, and if the Trumps can transfer assets to a new out-of-state company. Among the allegations made against Trump is that he inflated the value of his triplex apartment at Trump Tower, resulting in a significant overvaluation. Engoron compared the Trumps’ defense to a line from a Marx Brothers comedy film, stating that it was a “fantasy world.”
Trump and his attorney have condemned the ruling, with Trump accusing the judge of doing the attorney general’s bidding and calling for the highest courts in New York or the federal system to intervene. The former president’s attorney described the ruling as “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.” The case will proceed to trial, but the attorney general’s office has already won on its first claim, with disgorgement to be determined at trial. The trial’s start date is currently uncertain due to ongoing legal proceedings.
In summary, Judge Engoron’s ruling finds Trump, his adult sons, and others liable for fraud and cancels the Trump Organization’s business certification. The judge states that the Trumps provided false financial statements for around a decade, engaging in repeated fraud. Attorney General Letitia James seeks $250 million in damages and a five-year ban on the Trumps serving as business officers in New York. The ruling canceled the business certifications of the defendant entities, but questions remain regarding the dissolution of properties and the potential impact on assets outside of New York. Trump and his attorney have criticized the ruling and are planning to pursue appellate remedies.