On Tuesday, Donald J. The New York attorney general scored a major victory in his civil case against Trump after a New York judge found that the former president fraudulently inflated the value of his properties to get favorable loans and insurance deals.
Judge Arthur F. Engoron’s decision comes ahead of a trial scheduled to begin Monday, and will significantly smooth the path for Attorney General Letitia James as she seeks fines of about $250 million.
Justice Engoron’s decision, summarizing the issues at hand, Mr. It effectively ruled that an investigation was not necessary to find that Trump was liable and that the core of Ms. James’s case was valid. His lawyers urged the judge to throw out several claims against the former president. This is a huge blow to Trump.
In his order, Justice Engoron said Mr. He wrote scathingly in Trump’s defense, saying the former president and his two-year-old sons and other defendants, including his company, ignored reality when it suited their business needs. In “defendants’ world,” rent-regulated apartments are equivalent to unregulated apartments; Encumbered land is equivalent to unencumbered land; Restrictions will evaporate into thin air.”
“It’s a fantasy world, not the real world,” he added.
Mr. The judge also imposed sanctions on Trump’s lawyers. He ordered each to pay $7,500, having previously warned that the arguments in question were frivolous.
Reciting them was “indefensible,” Judge Engoran wrote.
Mr Trump still has the option to delay the trial, or drop the case against him. Mr. Trump has already sued Judge Engoron, and the appeals court is expected to rule on his case this week. But if the appeals court rules against him, Mr Trump will have to fight the rest of the case.
Ms James began investigating Mr Trump in March 2019 and filed a lawsuit against him last September, accusing him of “shocking” fraud in representing the value of his apartment buildings, hotels and golf clubs and other properties. To boost the value of his signature properties, from Trump Tower to Mar-a-Lago, Mr.
Mr. Trump knowingly overstated his assets by as much as $2.2 billion over a few years, Ms. James argued.
His suit would result in fines of approximately $250 million and the disbarment of the Trump family from leading the Trump Organization.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers sought what Judge Engoron called summary judgment — a ruling they deserved to win before a trial based on undisputed facts — to throw out many of the claims against him. They relied heavily on an appeals court ruling from June, which upheld Mr. It raised the idea that some of the claims against Trump may be too old to proceed with the investigation.
Justice Engoron Mr. Trump denied the request, while Ms. A similar effort by James was partially granted summary judgment.
Mr. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and Ms. James, a Democrat, has faced political harassment. His lawyers noted that the banks that lent money to Mr Trump were not harmed – they turned a profit.