What is at stake in Donald Trump’s civil fraud case? Explained
On Monday, Donald Trump and his family business will go on trial in New York in a civil fraud case.
Donald Trump and his family business are scheduled to go on trial in New York on Monday to decide how much they owe in penalties after a judge determined they overstated the former U.S. president’s assets by billions of dollars in order to gain better loan and insurance terms.
Here’s a look at the case taken by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James against the Republican presidential frontrunner in 2024.
What exactly is Trump accused of?
Between 2011 and 2021, Trump, his businesses, and his two adult sons are accused of inflating assets by up to $1.9 billion to $3.6 billion each year in order to save hundreds of millions of dollars on loans and insurance.
To arrive at the inflated prices, Trump and his associates, according to James’ office, used erroneous numbers for the sizes of his properties and misleading or highly unrealistic assumptions about their growth potential.
On September 26, the case’s judge, Justice Arthur Engoron, found that James had established Trump and his co-defendants illegally inflated his assets. That means the trial will focus primarily on how much they must pay in penalties.
What are the possible ramifications for Trump?
Trump faces no criminal charges in the civil action, but he may face significant financial and corporate ramifications.
James is seeking at least $250 million in penalties, a ban on Trump and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric from operating businesses in New York, and a five-year prohibition on Trump and the Trump Organization from engaging in commercial real estate transactions.
What will become of Donald Trump’s corporate empire?
In his judgement, Engoron ordered the cancellation of certifications required by ten of Trump’s business organizations to run several of his flagship assets, including Trump Tower and his golf clubs in New York, and stated that he would appoint independent receivers to oversee their “dissolution.”
The full ramifications of that verdict on Trump’s tangled web of corporate holdings are unknown, but the trial may shed light on whether the assets at the core of the dispute will be liquidated.
What has Trump said about the investigation?
Trump’s attorneys have questioned James’ estimates, claiming that they are based on defective accounting processes that fail to account for Trump’s “investment genius” in determining asset prices.
During a rambling deposition in April, Trump dismissed the charges while touting his accomplishments as president and separated himself from day-to-day decision-making at his flagship Trump Organization.
In a post on his Truth Social platform on the day of the ruling, Trump labeled the allegations of fraud “ridiculous and untrue,” and lambasted Engoron as a “DERANGED” judge.