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New York, NY — A judge ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization are liable for fraud after deliberately inflating the value of multiple real estate assets over several years.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron granted a motion for partial summary judgment in the civil fraud lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General’s office. The judge found Trump guilty of fraud by misrepresenting property values to banks and insurers in order to gain financial benefits.
As part of the ruling, Judge Engoron canceled the New York business certificates for Trump, the Trump Organization, and other defendants including Trump’s adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric. The judge said he will appoint an independent receiver to dissolve the corporate entities.
Overvalued Assets by Billions According to Judge
Judge Engoron’s decision states that Trump significantly exaggerated the worth of properties like Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower in financial statements to obtain better loan and insurance terms.
By doing so, Trump inflated his net worth to banks and insurers by “billions of dollars” over several years, the judge concluded after reviewing evidence.
“In defendants’ world: rent regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air,” Engoron wrote regarding Trump’s financial practices.
Trump Organization Could Face Dissolution
While the full impacts remain uncertain, canceling the business certificates raises questions around the future of the Trump Organization’s operations in New York.
Trump’s lawyer said the decision “seeks to nationalize one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property.” He vowed to appeal the ruling.
The New York Attorney General’s office declined to clarify whether the judge’s move effectively dissolves the Trump entities or not. Six other claims in the lawsuit will be addressed at an upcoming trial.
AG James Seeking $250 Million in Damages
New York Attorney General Letitia James praised the ruling as a victory and said she looks forward to making her case at trial. James is seeking $250 million in damages from Trump plus bans on him and his sons doing business in New York.
“Today, a judge ruled in our favor and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in years of financial fraud,” James wrote on social media after Engoron’s decision.
In addition to the civil fraud charges, Trump also faces numerous criminal indictments in New York and other states related to both his business dealings and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Lawyer Calls Ruling “Outrageous” and Vows to Appeal
Chris Kise, a lawyer for Trump, called Engoron’s decision “outrageous” and said Trump will appeal the ruling which he believes overstepped legal boundaries.
“While the full impact of the decision remains unclear, what is clear is that President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice,” Kise stated.
Another Trump attorney, Alina Habba, claimed in a statement that Trump built “an American success story” and alleged the ruling was politically motivated against him. Both lawyers were among those sanctioned by Judge Engoron for frivolous filings.
Years of False Financial Statements Cited by Court
In his extensive ruling, Judge Engoron detailed years of misleading financial statements from Trump regarding properties like Mar-a-Lago, 40 Wall Street, and the Trump International Golf Club Scotland.
The judge accused Trump of living in a “fantasy world” regarding real estate valuations and said the evidence clearly shows fraudulent claims were used in business dealings.
After Trump persisted in fighting the lawsuit despite clear evidence of inflating his net worth, Engoron determined canceling the companies’ ability to operate in New York was warranted.
The civil fraud ruling delivers a major blow to Trump and his real estate empire. While the former president remains defiant and vows to appeal, the judge’s decision to dissolve his business entities raises serious questions about the future of the Trump Organization.
With Engoron finding clear evidence of fraudulent practices used to gain financial advantages, the ruling also adds to Trump’s mounting legal woes across criminal and civil cases alleging misconduct. Trump remains adamant that he did nothing improper, but this latest fraud liability finding suggests otherwise.