Donald Trump Ordered to Pay $355 Million, Banned From New York Business for 3 Years in Civil Fraud Ruling

“Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” the judge wrote in his decision

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Former President Donald Trump and his companies have been ordered to pay $355 million as the result of the New York civil fraud trial accusing them of inflating property values to secure loans. The Republican presidential candidate is expected to seek to hold off enforcement while the case is appealed.

Beyond Trump and his companies, his sons Don Jr. and Eric were each ordered to pay $4 million as well due to their personal profits from the fraud. Judge Arthur Engoron found them liable for fraud on multiple counts, including conspiracy, issuing false financial statements and falsifying business records.

“Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” Engoron wrote in his decision of Trump and the other defendants. He went on to put what Trump and his companies have been found to have done in context.

“They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money,” Engoron continued. “The documents prove this over and over again. This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin. Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff.”

“Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways. Instead, they adopt a ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ posture that the evidence belies,” Engoron added. “This Court finds that defendants are likely to continue their fraudulent ways unless the Court grants significant injunctive relief.”

There was one piece of good news for Trump and his codefendants: While an earlier summary judgment indicated it would be possible, the decision does not dissolve Trump’s businesses. Instead, it puts into place multiple levels of oversight.

The judgment requires an independent compliance director to be installed at Trump’s companies, at the company’s expense, and for an independent monitor to continue overseeing the businesses for at least three years. The Trump Organization must get prior approval from both the monitor and the compliance director going forward before submitting financial disclosures to any third party.

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba called the decision “manifest injustice — plain and simple” in a statement released following the ruling. “It is the culmination of a multi-year, politically fueled witch hunt that was designed to ‘take down Donald Trump,’ before Letitia James ever stepped foot into the Attorney General’s office.”

Habba also confirmed Trump’s intention to appeal.

The ruling comes on top of the $83 million Trump must pay E. Jean Carroll for defamation, following last month’s judgment.

The Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, was fined $1 million in the ruling. Both he and former controller Jeffrey McConney were permanently banned from serving in financial control at any New York company and banned from being officers or directors for the next three years.

“In order to borrow more and at lower rates, defendants submitted blatantly false financial data to the accountants, resulting in fraudulent financial statements,” Engoron explained in his decision. “When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants’ fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility or to impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences.”

The case was brought by the state of New York and state Attorney General Letitia James. The trial began on Oct. 2, with closing arguments ultimately delivered on Jan. 11.


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