A judge in New York ruled against former President Donald Trump this week, saying that he and his company “repeatedly” violated the state’s fraud law.
Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling Tuesday came in response to a request from Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, who was seeking judgment for one claim in a $250 million civil lawsuit she’s filed against Trump, which is set for trial on October 2.
Engoron said in the ruling that he agreed with the claims James was making that it’s beyond dispute that the Trump Organization and Trump himself provided various banks with some financial statements that significantly misrepresented how wealthy he was – by up to $3.6 billion.
As he wrote in the ruling:
“The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business.”
As a result of the ruling, Engoron ordered that Trump and his two sons Eric and Donald Jr. have their business certificates from New York canceled. Within 10 days, they also have to recommend prospective independent receivers who will manage the dissolution of their canceled LLCs.
In September of 2022, James sued Trump and his two sons as well as their company, the Trump Organization. In the suit, she claimed that they all committed quite extensive fraud that went back more than 10 years when they were trying to get loans from different banks.
The $250 million civil suit is just one part of what James is seeking. She’s also hoping that the three and their company will have several sanctions put on them that would significantly hamper their ability to further do business in the state of New York.
Both sides of this case were seeking summary judgments here. James had requested that the ruling be delivered on Tuesday, which she said would streamline the ultimate trial should Engoron agree that some of the facts were beyond dispute.
Namely, James was seeking judgment on the facts that Trump, his sons and company issued false financial statements and business records – which the judge agreed with.
Trump’s side was hoping that Engoron would completely toss the case. They were arguing that a lot of the loans that were part of the lawsuit happened too long ago, so they couldn’t be considered in the case. But, Engoron rejected that argument as well.
The trial, which starts next week, will focus on the other allegations that James is making in her lawsuit. They’re related to conspiracy, insurance fraud, issuing false financial statements and falsification of business records.
The Trumps as well as their company have completely denied any wrongdoing in the case. They’ve accused James, who is a Democrat, of pursuing a politically-motivated case against them.
Alina Habba, who serves as a legal spokesperson for the Save America PAC, said in a statement Tuesday that Engoron’s ruling was “fundamentally flawed at every level.” She also said they would “immediately appeal” the ruling.
The statement read:
“It’s important to remember that the Trump Organization is an American success story. The fact that this Court summarily found that there is no question of fact, finding in part that Mar-a-Lago is worth approximately $20 million and issue a decision of this magnitude is an affront to our legal system.