The fraud probe ordered Trump to pay more than $350 million

As of: February 16, 2024 10:45 pm

Former US President Trump recently had to accept an 80 million dollar fine. Now things are even more expensive for him: he has been fined more than $350 million for financial fraud.

Former US President Donald Trump has been fined $350 million – the equivalent of about €325 million – in a fraud investigation. This was announced by Judge Arthur Engoren in New York. Also, Trump is not allowed to operate a company in New York State for three years. Engoran, however, refrained from ordering Trump to dissolve the company.

The judge found Trump guilty of artificially inflating the assets of the family real estate empire by billions of dollars over the years to get better terms for loans and insurance.

Attorney General Letitia James sought $370 million in fines in the case. Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., were also found guilty and ordered to pay $4 million each. A court has ordered a two-year ban on executive positions at New York state companies.

“Your complete lack of remorse borders on pathology.”

In the ruling, Engoron argued that Trump had refused to admit wrongdoing and would continue to do so in the future. Trump and his co-defendants have accepted no responsibility for their actions. Experts who testified for the defense simply denied reality.

The judge called the civil fraud at the center of the trial “a venial sin, not a mortal sin.” It suggests Trump and his allies will continue if their refusal to admit wrongdoing doesn't stop. “Your complete mental anguish and remorse borders on pathology,” Engoron explained.

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“This ruling is a blatant injustice — plain and simple,” Trump's attorney Hubba wrote on the online service.

Trump's lawyers intend to appeal

According to witness reports, Trump for years valued his exclusive Mar-a-Lago club in the state of Florida based on asking prices, not actual sale prices. According to the lawyers, this illegally distorted the real value of the property.

During the trial, Trump denied all the allegations and told the court that he was the victim of a manipulated legal system. Even in the annual reports his assets are understated. The banks also did their own research and were satisfied with his transactions. “There were no victims. Nothing,” Trump testified in November.

Trump and his lawyers have argued that outside auditors who helped prepare the financial statements should have pointed out any discrepancies. The documents were also served with disclaimers.

Both Trump and several of his children were questioned in the investigation. However, there was no direct impact on the prison sentence or Trump's bid for the presidency.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, received the largest fine. Trump's lawyers had announced before the verdict that they would appeal.

Trump has more tests ahead of him

However, the former president is currently engaged in some other activities. The trial on the March 25 payment to a porn star was confirmed by a judge only on Thursday. It was the first criminal trial in US history against a former president. Three more criminal investigations are underway, including allegations of attempted electoral fraud, and civil investigations are underway.

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In late January, a jury found 80-year-old writer E. A second defamation trial awarded Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages. Trump's lawyers have announced they intend to appeal.

Trump, 77, is seen as the Republican Party's presumptive candidate in November's presidential election. He has often used his hearings as campaign events, which has already brought him into conflict with several judges.

Charlotte Voß, ARD New York, tagesschau, February 16, 2024 10:38 pm

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