Donald Trump faces NY State demand of $370m in fraud case

Lawsuit accuses Donald Trump, along with his two eldest sons, of artificially inflating property values to secure advantageous bank loans

Former US President Donald Trump gestures while talking to the media during a break as he attends trial in a civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James against him, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others in New York City, October 4, 2023. — Reuters 

New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, has upped the ante in the legal battle against former President Donald Trump, pushing for a staggering $370 million in penalties in a fraud case. 

The move comes ahead of the impending closing arguments in a civil case aiming to strip Trump of prime real estate assets in Manhattan.

The lawsuit accuses Trump, along with his two eldest sons, of artificially inflating property values to secure advantageous bank loans and insurance terms. In response, Trump’s legal team criticised the attorney general’s office, arguing that the proposed penalty of barring Trump from all business activities surpasses a mere financial loss and is an overreach of authority.

The trial, spanning three months last year, spotlighted Trump’s purported exaggeration of his net worth by billions of dollars in financial statements presented to banks. Justice Arthur Engoron has already found Trump liable for misleading financial information to obtain better loan conditions.

The Attorney General’s office condemned Trump’s “myriad deceptive schemes” as “outrageous,” insisting that these actions lacked any innocent explanation. Seeking at least $370 million in penalties and limitations on Trump’s business operations within the state, James aims to curtail Trump’s activities and hold him accountable for alleged fraudulent practices.

Trump, denying any wrongdoing, labeled the case a political vendetta and claimed no victims exist. His legal struggles extend beyond this case, with charges in multiple jurisdictions. Despite these legal challenges, Trump remains a prominent figure in the Republican Party and a leading contender for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Amidst fiery testimonies, Trump’s adult children—Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka—maintained limited involvement in their father’s financial affairs during their tenures at the Trump Organisation. Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street, among the key assets in Trump’s New York portfolio, face uncertainty after an order for their dissolution, presently under appeal.

Beyond this case, Trump confronts multiple indictments across states for various alleged offenses, setting a complex legal calendar that might disrupt the scheduled commencement of his criminal trials in New York in March.


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