Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Former President Donald Trump is facing a critical legal battle in New York state, where a judge is considering a case that could lead to the dissolution of his business interests in the state and a ban on him and his two adult sons from conducting any business activities there in the future. The case was brought forward by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and accuses Trump, his sons, The Trump Organization, and others of multiple offenses, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, and insurance fraud.
During the court proceedings, Judge Arthur F. Engoron recently ruled in favor of the state on a key element of the case, finding that Trump and his co-defendants had engaged in repeated and persistent fraud. As a result of this ruling, all business certificates filed by Trump and his co-defendants in New York state were canceled, and their related corporations were placed into receivership.
Trump has maintained his innocence and has launched personal attacks on Attorney General James, accusing her of racism and claiming political motivations behind the case. He has also targeted Judge Engoron; however, the judge has consistently rejected Trump’s claims, stating that they lack legal merit.
The basis for Engoron’s ruling was the significant discrepancies between the valuations provided by Trump and his co-defendants for their various assets. For instance, Trump inflated asset values when applying for loans and misrepresented the square footage of his apartment in Trump Tower.
The finding of persistent fraud triggers a rarely invoked provision of state law that permits the complete dissolution of all New York businesses owned by Trump and his co-defendants. Additionally, the state is seeking disgorgement of $250 million in profits and a prohibition on the defendants serving as officers or directors of New York-based companies in the future.
While Trump is expected to appeal the ruling, in the meantime, all of his New York-based businesses will be placed under receivership and sold off by a court-appointed expert.
Surprisingly, Trump has continued to attack Judge Engoron and Attorney General James despite already losing favor with the judge. Legal professionals are perplexed by Trump’s strategy in light of these circumstances.
As this legal battle unfolds, the fate of Trump’s business empire in New York hangs in the balance, with significant financial and reputational repercussions at stake.