Donald Trump was found liable of financial fraud in a New York civil case alongside his eldest sons as well as some business associates.
That decision came Tuesday from New York judge Arthur Engoron and marks a major defeat for Trump that could severely impact his ability to make money in New York as he seeks a return to the White House next year.
The judge said Trump and the other defendants dishonestly inflated the ex-president’s net worth, the value of his properties and other assets, to suit their own business needs.
In particular, the judge took issue with Trump lying about how big his penthouse was, claiming it was 30 000 square feet, nearly triple its actual size, resulting in an overvaluation of as much as $207 million.
As a penalty, the judge stripped Trump of certificates that let some of his businesses operate in New York, including the Trump Organization.
The Tuesday ruling is also a big victory for New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who last year pressed charges against Trump.
Donald Trump found liable for fraud in New York civil case
“We are filing a lawsuit against Donald Trump for violating the law as part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family and his company.”
Tuesday’s ruling makes it easier for James to establish damages at a trial set for October, which was also set to look at whether Trump and his children lied about his net worth to get better loans and insurance.
Trump has filed a lawsuit against Judge Engoron.
He’s accused him and James of ignoring an appeals court order to narrow the case.
The lawsuit aimed to delay the trial, arguing Engoron’s inaction has made it impossible to prepare a defense.
Trump has blasted his fraud accusations as “ridiculous and untrue”, in a post on his Truth Social platform.
He accused Engoron of being a “deranged” judge doing the bidding of James, a Democrat.
Trump, who faces a slew of other litigation, has denied all wrongdoing, and branded the cases a Democrat “witch hunt” against him.
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