Donald Trump's $370 Million Fraud Case: A Verdict Awaits

Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City. In a highly anticipated legal battle, Donald Trump awaits judgment in...

Donald Trump awaits verdict in $370 million fraud case he calls a 'hoax' Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City.

In a highly anticipated legal battle, Donald Trump awaits judgment in a civil fraud case that could result in a $370 million blow to his real estate empire. While such a severe consequence is rare, Trump remains determined to appeal the decision, denouncing the entire case as a "hoax." The verdict comes hot on the heels of another legal setback, where Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million in a federal defamation case filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Judge Already Found Fraud: Weighing the "Death Penalty" for Trump Business

New York Justice Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump engaged in repeated fraud between 2011 and 2021 by inflating the value of his real estate to gain advantages from lenders and insurers. Currently, Trump's certificates to conduct business remain intact while he appeals the order to cancel them. Engoron's decision on the damages is expected soon.

According to Engoron's ruling, Trump exaggerated the value of his Mar-a-Lago resort by 20 times the tax assessment, inflated the worth of apartments at Trump Park Avenue despite rent restrictions, and falsely increased the square footage of his own Trump Tower penthouse apartment. The judge's aim is to issue a ruling by the end of the month.

Judge Arthur Engoron, sit on the bench inside New York Supreme Court, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in New York. Authorities on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, have responded to a bomb threat at the home of Engoron, who is overseeing Donald Trump Judge Arthur Engoron, sitting on the bench inside New York Supreme Court, in New York.

Critics argue that the potential damages could be a "death penalty" for Trump's business. However, Trump and his legal team maintain that no actual victims were harmed as lenders were fully repaid and satisfied with their dealings. History shows that previous cases resulting in businesses being dissolved involved significant victim losses. The $370 million sought by New York Attorney General Letitia James represents the most substantial financial threat to Trump and his real estate empire.

Trump vs. Engoron: A Clash During Trial

Throughout the fraud trial, tensions escalated as Trump openly attacked Engoron, his clerk, and Letitia James, both in the courtroom and on social media platforms. Trump labeled the trial as "crazy" and criticized Engoron for his alleged bias towards James. Engoron, in turn, fined Trump $15,000 for violating gag orders by publicly berating his chief clerk, Alison Greenfield.

Trump Argues "No Victims" Equals "No Damages"

In a series of social media posts, Trump denounced the trial as a partisan witch hunt, emphasizing that lenders, such as Deutsche Bank, were repaid with interest. He claimed that there were no victims except himself and insisted that the case should have been dismissed long ago. Trump views it as political persecution and believes the state should receive no damages whatsoever. He has consistently attacked judges and prosecutors, accusing them of attempting to hinder his return to power.

Donald Trump attends his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City. Donald Trump attending his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City.

Analyzing the fraud statute, The Associated Press discovered that several businesses were closed for repeated fraud, with victims and financial losses being crucial factors. However, in most cases, businesses were allowed to continue operating. While the outcome of Trump's case remains uncertain, the potential ramifications for his real estate empire and political aspirations are undoubtedly significant.

As the verdict looms, the public eagerly anticipates the judgment that may shape Donald Trump's future. Will justice be served, or will this be another chapter in the ongoing battle between Trump and his opponents? Only time will tell.

FigCaption: Donald Trump attending his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City.

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