According to Salon, after years of speculation and controversy, former President Donald Trump, along with several of his businesses and two of his sons, has been found liable for fraud by a New York judge. This significant legal setback comes as a result of a civil fraud case initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and it raises questions about whether Trump’s penchant for exaggeration and self-promotion has finally caught up with him.
Justice Arthur Engoron, the presiding judge, was so convinced of the case’s strength that he issued a summary judgment in favor of the state. This ruling not only strips control of some of Trump’s businesses from his family but could also lead to financial penalties amounting to as much as $250 million for the former president. Engoron’s decision essentially means that, in the judge’s view, there was no need for a trial to establish Trump’s culpability, and it carries significant consequences often referred to as the “corporate death penalty.”
Trump’s lead attorney in this case, Alina Habba, who frequently traveled with him during his campaigns, had previously served as general counsel for a parking lot company and gained recognition for representing a former “Real Housewives” cast member in a case against Facebook. However, her defense of Trump’s business empire failed to persuade the judge. Engoron criticized her arguments, stating that she attempted to discredit documents and asserted that there was no such thing as ‘objective’ value. The judge even sanctioned each defense lawyer $7,500 for repeatedly presenting frivolous arguments.
In response to the ruling, Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to decry the case as a witch hunt and accused the judge and prosecutors of bias against him, echoing familiar refrains. He asserted that he never inflated the value of his company, contending that his valuations were actually conservative because they didn’t account for the substantial worth of his “brand.”
One striking moment from the case was when Trump defended his property valuations by suggesting that he could always find a wealthy buyer, specifically mentioning someone from Saudi Arabia, willing to pay any price he proposed.
This legal judgment follows a pattern of legal troubles for Trump, including the Trump University fraud case and the dissolution of the Trump Foundation. Trump’s presidency was also marked by controversies related to his hotels and resorts, with allegations of pay-to-play schemes.
Furthermore, this case implicates Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., as they were involved in the practices deemed fraudulent. The Trump family’s history of financial dealings has faced scrutiny, with revelations from The New York Times exposing dubious tax strategies employed by Trump’s father, indicating that such practices have deep family roots.
In the aftermath of the judgment, Donald Jr. took to Twitter to denounce what he referred to as “weaponized Blue State Marxist America,” a sentiment he has expressed on numerous occasions.
Ivanka Trump appears to have escaped legal repercussions in a specific case due to a missed deadline on the part of the attorney general’s office. This turn of events has left many observers considering her fortunate, but it also raises questions about the intricacies of the legal system and the potential implications of such a dismissal.
The case in question involved allegations related to a particular scam or fraudulent activity. However, the charges against Ivanka Trump were dismissed by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, primarily because the attorney general’s office failed to meet a crucial deadline for filing the case against her. Such legal dismissals often hinge on procedural rules and the strict adherence to timelines, rather than the merits of the case itself.
NY judge in ruling on Trump organization fraud case:
"He [Trump] also seems to imply that the numbers cannot be inflated because he could find a 'buyer from Saudi Arabia' to pay any price he suggests." pic.twitter.com/x44imKe3ME
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 26, 2023