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Trump’s Legal Battle Escalates as Manhattan Judge Rules Against Him

by Jessica

Amidst a highly anticipated civil fraud trial, former President Donald Trump is embroiled in legal turmoil.

The state of New York, under the leadership of Attorney General Letitia James, has accused Trump of committing “illegal” actions by inflating his assets over a decade, according to The Messenger’s report on Monday, October 2.

Even before the trial commenced, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron delivered a ruling holding Trump liable for fraud, potentially stripping him of control over his iconic New York properties.

Before the trial officially commenced, Justice Engoron had already issued a significant ruling, finding Trump liable for fraud and imposing the so-called “corporate death penalty” on his key New York businesses.

This ruling cast a shadow over Trump’s signature properties, including Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, Trump Park Avenue, and the Seven Springs Estate.

During the opening statements, Kevin Wallace, counsel for Attorney General Letitia James, outlined the state’s key objectives: proving “intent” and “conspiracy.”

Wallace emphasized that the defendants had allegedly engaged in a pattern of deception that spanned many years, laying the foundation for the state’s case.

To succeed in the remaining six claims, the Attorney General’s office must prove that the conduct not only amounted to fraud but also violated specific New York Penal Law statutes.

These statutes include prohibitions against falsification of business records, issuing false financial statements, and committing insurance fraud.

A significant portion of the case hinges on whether these allegations can be substantiated.

Attorney General Letitia James seeks to recover Trump’s “ill-gotten gains,” amounting to a staggering $250 million.

Additionally, she aims to secure an order that would prevent Trump and his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., from ever serving as directors of New York corporations.

Before entering the courtroom, Trump vehemently dismissed New York’s case as a “sham” and a “scam” during an impromptu press conference.

Inside the courtroom, Trump maintained his confidence, asserting that his financial statements were “phenomenal.”

His legal team argued that the alleged fraud did not harm anyone, as sophisticated parties like Deutsche Bank, which conducted their own due diligence, were involved.

This trial has been in the making for nearly half a decade.

It all began in February 2019 when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed to Congress that Trump had artificially inflated his assets for tax benefits.

The New York Attorney General’s office initiated its investigation the following month.

However, it wasn’t until September 2022 that Attorney General Letitia James filed her lawsuit, accusing not only Trump but also his children and business associates of participating in a massive fraud scheme.

The Attorney General’s office intends to call a substantial number of witnesses to make its case.

This list includes Trump himself, his family members, and representatives from Deutsche Bank and Mazars, which previously served as Trump’s accounting firm.

Trump has not been silent about his concerns regarding bias.

He pointed out that both the Attorney General and the trial judge were elected on a Democratic ticket, raising questions about impartiality.

Despite these allegations, Justice Engoron has already ruled that the Attorney General does not need to prove damages to succeed in her fraud claims.

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