In a ruling on Tuesday, a New York judge concluded that Donald Trump and his company had “repeatedly” violated state fraud law. The ruling came in response to a request by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is suing Trump and his company for $250 million, alleging extensive fraud over a decade-long period while seeking loans from banks. The judge agreed with James’ office that there was clear evidence that Trump and his company provided fraudulent financial statements to banks, misrepresenting his wealth by as much as $3.6 billion. As a result of the ruling, the judge ordered the cancellation of the defendants’ New York business certificates and required them to recommend potential independent receivers to manage the dissolution of the canceled LLCs.
Both sides had sought summary judgments, with James’ office requesting the ruling in order to streamline the upcoming trial and establish certain facts as beyond dispute. The Trumps’ legal team, on the other hand, asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that many of the loans in question were too old to be considered in this case. However, the judge rejected the motion to dismiss. The trial, scheduled for October 2, will now focus on other allegations outlined in the lawsuit, including falsification of business records, insurance fraud, and conspiracy. Trump and his company have consistently denied any wrongdoing and accused James of pursuing them for political reasons.
In response to the ruling, a legal spokesperson for Trump’s Save America PAC criticized the judge’s decision, calling it “fundamentally flawed at every level” and pledging to appeal immediately. During the arguments related to the motions, Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise defended the valuations provided by Trump, claiming they reflected his “investment genius.” The judge, however, challenged this argument, emphasizing that false statements used in business were prohibited by statute. The attorney general’s office also sought sanctions against Trump’s legal team for making repetitive arguments that had already been rejected by the courts. The judge ruled in favor of the attorney general, imposing fines of $7,500 each on five attorneys, totaling $37,500.