In a few days, a New York judge will decide on financial penalties in a civil fraud case brought by the state’s attorney general against former President Donald Trump and his companies. The attorney general is seeking $370 million in fines for allegedly misrepresenting the values of his business assets. State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron is expected to rule on the cash fine and sanctions against Trump’s businesses before Jan. 31.
New York Attorney General Letitia James accuses Trump of making repeated false statements in the financial statements of his businesses to lenders. She is calling for Trump to be banned from doing business in New York and to pay $370 million in interest saved and other “ill-gotten gains.” The penalty could be even greater, as there is speculation about whether Trump’s companies in New York will be ordered to dissolve.
Two years ago, the Trump Organization stopped sending exaggerated financial figures about its net worth to Deutsche Bank and other entities. However, a court-appointed monitor noted that this only occurred after Trump was sued, and other financial documents continued to contain errors and misrepresentations. The bank never complained, and it is unclear how much, if anything, it lost.
In September, Judge Engoron ruled that Trump had committed fraud and that the state certificates needed to manage many of his companies in New York. He said Trump should lose control of those companies and turn them over to a receiver to manage their “dissolution.” However, it is unclear what he meant by “dissolution” and whether it refers to the liquidation of the entities that control the properties or the properties themselves.
The prosecution has never called for the sale of Trump’s properties. Legal experts cited by the AP infer that the dissolution proposed by Judge Engoron means dispossessing Trump of his properties in New York, Florida, Chicago, and several golf clubs.
Trump has expressed anger over the possibility of losing his businesses and has focused his attacks on both Attorney General James and Judge Engoron. In a recent court appearance, he repeated his claims of political persecution and demanded damages.
The decision in this case will have significant implications for Trump’s businesses and could set a precedent for future cases against him. It remains to be seen how the judge will rule and what the implications will be for Trump’s properties and businesses.
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