NEW YORK.- A judge has declared former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) responsible for one count of fraud in a civil proceeding initiated by the New York State Prosecutor’s Office, accusing him of inflating the property of his company for years to get better conditions. of loans and other economic benefits.
In a decision issued Tuesday afternoon, Judge Arthur Engoron agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office, which last week sought partial summary judgment on the main charge in the case, which is fraud against Trump, his children that Donald Jr. and Eric, the Trump Organization and several associates, leaving six more felonies to be tried at the trial scheduled for October 2.
Engoron, who ruled Tuesday in a civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, determined that the former president and his company defrauded banks, insurers and other entities by overstating the his assets and exaggeration of his net worth in documentation used to close deals and obtain financing.
The decision, announced days before a bench trial in the case of Prosecutor James, was the most significant setback to date for Trump’s image as a real estate mogul.
In addition to boasting about his wealth, Trump, his company and his top executives have repeatedly lied about it in their annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favorable terms of loans and lower insurance premiums, according to Engoron.
Those tactics crossed a line and violated the law, the judge declared, rejecting Trump’s argument that a disclaimer clause in financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.
Manhattan prosecutors considered pursuing a criminal case for the same conduct, but declined to do so, leaving James open to suing Trump and seeking sanctions that would affect his and his family’s ability to do business. in the state.
Engoron’s ruling, in a phase of the case known as summary judgment, resolves the main allegation in James’ lawsuit, but six remain.
Engoron plans to hold a bench trial starting October 2 before deciding on the charges and any penalties that may be imposed. James called for a $250 million fine and a ban on Trump doing business in his home state of New York. The trial could last until December, Engoron said.