Donald Trump (Photo credit: Bang Media)
Donald Trump “repeatedly” misrepresented his wealth by up to $3.6 billion to defraud banks and insurers, a New York judge has ruled.
The former president was sued last September by Attorney General Letitia James, who accused him, his two sons and the Trump Organization of lying about his net worth and the value of his assets between 2011 and 2021 by issuing false business records and financial statements in order to get better terms on bank loans and pay less tax. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Justice Arthur Engoron made a ruling in James’ favor ahead of a trial to resolve the claims in the civil lawsuit, which is due to begin on Monday, Oct. 2.The judge wrote: “The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business, satisfying [the attorney general’s] burden to establish liability as a matter of law against defendants. Defendants respond that: the documents do not say what they say; that there is no such thing as ‘objective’ value; and that, essentially, the court should not believe its own eyes.”
The judge declared that Trump’s defenses “are wholly without basis in law or fact” and found he “seems to imply that the numbers cannot be inflated because he could find a “buyer from Saudi Arabia’ to pay any price he suggests.”James had asked the Manhattan judge to rule on her claims as finding certain facts to be beyond dispute would speed up the trial, and during the ruling, the judge rejected a request by Trump’s legal team to dismiss the case, and ordered the Trump Organization to cancel its New York Business certificates.
Justice Engoron criticized the 77-year-old business mogul and his company for living in a “fantasy world.”
He wrote in his summary judgement: “In defendants’ world, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air. That is a fantasy world, not the real world.”
Source: Rolling Out