New York judge finds Trump responsible for 'repeated' financial 'fraud'

A New York judge on Tuesday found Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, responsible for "repeated" financial "fraud" in the 2010s in the valuation of Trump Organization assets, even before the opening Monday of the civil trial in this case.

A New York judge on Tuesday found Donald Trump responsible for lies and "repeated" financial "fraud". © Alex Brandon / AP

By: RFI Follow


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This decision represents a major setback in this file for the former US president, who dreams of reconquering the White House in November 2024 and taking revenge on his successor Joe Biden. On the other hand, it facilitates the task of the Attorney General of the State of New York, Letitia James, who had filed a complaint against Donald Trump. She is seeking $250 million in fines and corporate bans for Donald Trump and several of his relatives, including his two children who now run the Trump Organization. This decision will considerably reduce the scale of what it will have to prove, notes our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin.

In his decision, Judge Arthur Engoron found that Donald Trump and his children are "responsible" for "repeated violations" of the law. He adds that the documents submitted by the attorney general "clearly" show "fraudulent valuations" by Donald Trump for assets of the group, a myriad of companies that range from residential real estate to luxury hotels to golf clubs.

The attorney general of the State of New York accuses the Republican billionaire and his children of having "inflated" this wealth of billions of dollars to obtain among other things more advantageous loans from banks from 2011 to 2021. In her complaint, the Attorney General cites several examples, including Donald Trump's triplex inside Trump Tower in New York, whose value would have been declared on the basis of an area three times greater than reality (2,700 square meters against 1,000), which would have made it possible to evaluate it at $ 327 million. "Good faith measures could vary from 10-20%, not 200%," writes Judge Arthur Engoron.

The Trump Organization brings together a myriad of companies and ranges from residential real estate, with several skyscrapers in New York, to luxury hotels, private residences or clubs like Mar-a-Lago in Florida and golf clubs. In March 2023, Forbes magazine valued Donald Trump's fortune at $2.5 billion.

For the former president, this is another example of the witch hunt of which he claims to be a victim. In his defense, he explains that he always told the banks not to take into account his statements and that they even made money thanks to him. And he claims, as usual, that he has done nothing wrong.

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(With AFP)

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