In a resounding verdict on Tuesday, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Donald Trump has been entangled in a web of fraudulent activities for an extended period while constructing his real estate empire, the very foundation upon which he built his fame and eventually ascended to the White House.
The verdict, delivered in a civil lawsuit initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, exposes Trump and his company’s extensive deception. They stand accused of manipulating financial documents, overvaluing assets, and inflating net worth to deceive banks, insurers, and other parties involved in deals and loan agreements.
As reported by The Associated Press, the repercussions of the verdict are severe. Judge Engoron has ordered the revocation of some of Trump’s business licenses, effectively hampering their ability to conduct business in New York. Additionally, an independent monitor will oversee Trump Organization operations in an ongoing effort to ensure compliance with legal standards.
Unless successfully appealed, this order will strip Trump of his authority over key properties within the state, effectively limiting his control over strategic and financial decisions.
Trump’s response to the judgment has been marked by vehement opposition, decrying it as “un-American” and part of a larger conspiracy to undermine his aspirations for a return to the White House.
“My Civil rights have been violated,” he proclaimed on his Truth Social site before asserting that “Some Appellate Court, whether federal or state, must reverse this horrible, un-American decision.” He wrote He insisted his company had “done a magnificent job for New York State” and “done business perfectly,” calling it “A very sad Day for the New York State System of Justice!”
Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Kise, has vowed to appeal the decision, dismissing it as entirely divorced from factual evidence and applicable law.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Letitia James released a statement saying: “Today, a judge ruled in our favor and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in years of financial fraud. We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.”
Engoron’s ruling, delivered just days before the commencement of a non-jury trial in Attorney General James’ lawsuit, constitutes a significant blow to Trump’s carefully cultivated image as a wealthy and astute real estate magnate who transitioned into a political juggernaut.
Beyond mere boasts about his wealth, the judgment affirms that Trump, his company, and key executives consistently fabricated financial information on annual statements. This deceitful practice secured favorable loan terms and reduced insurance costs, leading Judge Engoron to assert that these tactics crossed the boundaries of legality.
Trump’s claims that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of wrongdoing were flatly rejected by the judge, who characterized such assertions as “fantasy” rather than reflecting reality.
While Manhattan prosecutors had considered criminal charges for similar conduct, they chose not to pursue them, leaving Attorney General James to bring a civil lawsuit with penalties aimed at disrupting Trump and his family’s business activities.
Notably, Engoron’s judgment found that Trump consistently exaggerated the value of Mar-a-Lago, inflating it by as much as 2,300% on one financial statement. Additionally, Trump was chastised for providing false information about the size of his Manhattan apartment, where he claimed his Trump Tower penthouse was nearly three times its actual size, thus valuing it at $327 million.
Eric Trump, in response to the ruling, maintained his father’s assertions about Mar-a-Lago’s value and labeled the judgment and lawsuit as an attempt to tarnish his father’s reputation and force him out of New York.
Under the terms of the ruling, limited liability companies that oversee critical Trump properties, such as 40 Wall Street, will be dissolved, with control of their management transferred to a receiver. Consequently, Trump will lose authority over hiring, firing, leasing office space, and other pivotal decisions.