A judge in New York declares Donald Trump guilty of fraud 2023

Trump
Donald Trump guilty of fraud

 

Donald Trump is found guilty of fraud by a judge in New York.

A New York judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

In a 37-page decision issued on September 26, 2023, Judge Arthur Engoron found that Trump and his company systematically deceived banks, insurers, and other businesses by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on financial statements and other documents.

In his decision, Engoron stated that “the defendants engaged in repeated and persistent fraudulent conduct over a period of many years.” “This behaviour was deliberate, aware, and careless.”

The judge’s ruling is a major victory for New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed a civil lawsuit against Trump and the Trump Organization in September 2021. In her lawsuit, James alleged that Trump and his company had engaged in a “decade-long pattern of fraud” by misrepresenting the value of their assets to obtain favorable loans, insurance coverage, and tax breaks.

James sought a variety of penalties in her lawsuit, including an injunction barring Trump and the Trump Organization from doing business in New York, as well as disgorgement of profits obtained through fraud and restitution to victims.

The judge’s ruling on summary judgment resolves the key claim in James’ lawsuit, but six others remain. Engoron is scheduled to hold a non-jury trial starting in October to determine the scope of the penalties to be imposed on Trump and the Trump Organization.

The Evidence of Fraud

In his ruling, Judge Engoron cited a wide range of evidence to support his finding that Trump had committed fraud. This evidence included:

  • Financial statements and other documents prepared by Trump and his accountants that showed that Trump had inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars.
  • Testimony from Trump Organization employees who admitted to knowingly overvaluing Trump’s assets.
  • Email communications between Trump Organization employees that showed that they were aware that Trump’s financial statements were misleading.

The judge also rejected Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on his financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing. The disclaimer stated that the financial statements were “for informational purposes only” and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. However, Judge Engoron found that the disclaimer was “ineffective” because Trump and his company had used the financial statements to obtain loans, insurance coverage, and other financial benefits.

The Impact of the Ruling

Judge Engoron’s ruling is a significant blow to Trump and his business empire. If James is successful in obtaining all of the relief she is seeking in her lawsuit, it could force Trump to shut down his businesses in New York and billions of dollars in restitution and fines.

The ruling is also likely to have a significant impact on Trump’s political future. Trump is widely expected to run for president again in 2024, but the fraud ruling could damage his reputation and make it more difficult for him to raise money and attract voters.

The Fallout from the Ruling

In the wake of Judge Engoron’s ruling, Trump and his allies have attacked the judge and the New York Attorney General’s Office. Trump has accused James of being a “radical left” prosecutor who is engaged in a “witch hunt” against him.

However, legal experts have said that Judge Engoron’s ruling is well-reasoned and supported by the evidence. They have also said that the ruling is likely to withstand any appeals.

It remains to be seen what the ultimate impact of the ruling will be on Trump and his business empire. However, it is clear that the ruling is a major setback for Trump and could have a significant impact on his political future.

Implications for Trump’s Political Future

The fraud ruling could have a significant impact on Trump’s political future. Trump is widely expected to run for president again in 2024, but the ruling could damage his reputation and make it more difficult for him to raise money and attract voters.

The ruling could also embolden other law enforcement officials to investigate Trump and his business practices. Trump is currently under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for a variety of crimes, including tax evasion and insurance fraud. The fraud ruling could make it more likely that Trump will be indicted and prosecuted.

Overall, the fraud ruling is a major setback for Trump and could have a significant impact on his political future. It remains to be seen whether Trump will be able to overcome the ruling and win the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

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