New York Judge Rules Donald Trump Fraud Real Estate Empire .

New York Judge Rules Donald Trump Committed Fraud in Real Estate Empire Building

During the construction of his real estate empire, Donald Trump was accused of fraud for years, which ultimately led to his fame and even to the White House. A New York judge on Tuesday harshly rejected an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit against the former president.

Judge(New York) Rules Trump Inflated Property Values

Judge Arthur Engoron found that Trump and his company executives, including his sons Eric and Donald Jr., inflated the value of properties through repeated and deceptive practices with banks, insurers, and others, boosting their overall wealth.

This decision comes in the wake of a civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought allegations that Trump and the Trump Organization had lied for years about the values of properties and their overall wealth, aiming to obtain better terms on loans and insurance.

Engoron wrote, “The evidence here may establish that these were not just the musings of an uber-salesman, exaggerating to puff up his business image.”

Fraud Allegations and Judge’s Critique

James has stated that the case involves “a massive fraud against the American people.” Trump’s legal team had previously argued that the case should be dismissed, contending that there was no evidence that Trump’s actions harmed the public, and that many of the allegations were beyond the statute of limitations.

However, last week, the judge hinted that he was not sympathetic to these arguments, chastising Trump’s lawyers for offering “less than compelling evidence” and indicating that they were scrutinizing the restrictions placed on them.

Trump’s Legal Woes Persist Despite Defense

Cyrus Vance Jr., who has been representing Trump in a separate criminal investigation into his finances in Manhattan since leaving the White House, offered an explanation: “What’s going on here is part of the everyday wheeling and dealing in complex business transactions.”

Trump's Legal Woes Persist Despite Defense
Trump’s Legal Woes Persist Despite Defense

Engoron did not drown it.

“The fact that no one has been hurt is not a reason to toss the case,” he said. In his decision on Tuesday, Engoron approved sanctions against the Trump legal team, finding each of the five attorneys $7,500 for repeatedly filing unsuccessful motions to dismiss James’s lawsuit.

Prosecutors in Manhattan had considered bringing a criminal case against Trump for  the fraud related to the property values but declined to do so, fearing that it could undermine his ability to conduct business in New York.

Trump’s Ongoing Legal Battles

Engoron’s decision resolves one phase of the case, known as summary judgment, in which he has repeatedly rejected motions by Trump’s legal team to dismiss key claims by James, though several others remain.

The non-jury trial is scheduled to begin on October 2, and James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump and his children doing business in New York. Engoron has said the trial could continue until December.

Trump's Legal Battleground
Trump’s Legal Battleground

Before this, Trump has already faced the legal consequences. Earlier this year, the former president paid a $110,000 settlement after failing to meet a deadline in a case related to his election fundraising.

This is just one of several legal battles that Trump faces as he contemplates a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. He is facing 91 criminal charges, including accusations of paying a pornographic actress for silence, illegally keeping classified information, and electoral manipulation at the federal and state levels.

Trump’s $5 Million Defamation Lawsuit

In civil courts, he also faces another defamation lawsuit that includes author E. Jean Carroll, who allegedly sexually assaulted  her during the 1990s. Responsible for defamation and sexual harassment, Trump has already been ordered to pay nearly $5 million.

This reporting was contributed by Martin Pengelly and agencies.

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