The ruling indicated that James “presented conclusive evidence” that the former president and his co-defendants overvalued their assets between $812 and $2.2 billion between the years 2014 and 2021.
“Even in the world of high finance, this Court cannot support a misstatement of at least $812 million,” emphasized Judge Engoron in his brief. Repeated practices of falsifying financial statements to obtain advantages such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums crossed a line and violated the law, the judge said.
Prosecutors in Manhattan explored the possibility of pursuing a criminal case for the same conduct, but declined to do so, leaving James with the possibility of suing Trump and seeking sanctions that would affect his ability and his family to do business in the country.
What are the immediate consequences of the decision against Trump
Engoron’s ruling was issued in response to the prosecutor’s request for a summary judgment in the main cause of the case pending trial, scheduled for October 2, on six other allegations by James.
The judge ordered some of Trump’s business licenses to be revoked, making it difficult or impossible to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent auditor oversee the operations of the Trump Organization.
Although this does not mean the dissolution of the company, it may cause the Trump Organization to lose control of some of its most iconic properties and the main source of business, among them, the famous Trump tower.
Joyce Vance, former federal prosecutor, on the social network
Former President Trump has long insisted he did nothing illegal, and Chris Kise, one of his lawyers, said in a statement that the decision was “completely disconnected from the facts and the available law,” and promised to appeal.
The judge also granted the attorney general’s request to punish Trump’s lawyers, ordering that each of them pay a fine of $7,500.
When and who will go to trial in connection with this case?
Engoron plans to hold the bench trial starting next Monday, October 2. However, the trial may be postponed pending the court’s decision to appeal the summary judgment on Tuesday.
The case is civil, so the defendants will only be found responsible for engaging in that behavior and will not face prison sentences.
Prosecutor James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York, his home state.
The New York attorney’s office has assembled a list of nearly 60 witnesses for this trial, including the former president himself.
Trump is expected to appear at the trial with his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, serving as executives, longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg and longtime auditor Jeffrey McConney.
Although this is a civil case, Trump faces the possibility of prison in four unrelated criminal cases, one of which is in New York. He could be tried on the charges next year, as he campaigns for the 2024 presidential election.
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