Donald Trump Ruled Liable Of Committing Fraud While Building Real Estate Empire
Donald Trump has been ruled of committing fraud for years while building the real estate empire that propelled him to fame and the White House.
In a civil case brought by Attorney-General Letitia James, the former US president was accused of illegally inflating his assets and net worth.
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Justice Arthur Engoron of a New York court found Trump and his family business liable, and a trial has been scheduled for October 2 and could last into December.
In September 2022, Ms James sued Mr Trump alleging he and the Trump Organisation lied for 10 years about asset values and his net worth to gain better bank loans and insurance terms.
She has said Mr Trump inflated his net worth by as much as AUD $3.4 billion and by one measure as much as AUD $5.6 billion on annual financial statements given to banks and insurers.
The Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump’s penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, and various office buildings and golf courses were all inflated, according to Ms James.
Judge Engoron said Ms James had established liability for false valuations of several properties, and chided Trump for offering defences in a deposition that were “wholly without basis in law or fact”.
“He claims that if the values of the property have gone up in the years since the [financial statements] were submitted, then the numbers were not inflated at that time,” Judge Engoron wrote.
“He also seems to imply that the numbers cannot be inflated because he could find a ‘buyer from Saudi Arabia’ to pay any price he suggests.”
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