In a blow to former President Donald Trump, a New York judge has found him and his adult sons liable for fraud and canceled the Trump Organization’s business certification. Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that the Trumps provided false financial statements for roughly a decade, in violation of New York state law. The judge granted Attorney General Letitia James’ motion for summary judgment and found the Trumps liable for persistent violations of the law. The ruling comes just days before the civil case involving the attorney general’s office and Trump was set to go to trial.
In response to the ruling, Trump condemned Engoron, accusing him of doing the bidding of James and expressing his intention to seek help from the highest courts in New York State or the federal system. His attorney, Christopher Kise, called the ruling “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law” and vowed to seek all available appellate remedies. Meanwhile, Trump’s son, Eric, expressed his disappointment with the New York legal system, claiming that there was a coordinated effort to destroy his family’s life, company, and accomplishments.
The ruling by Judge Engoron is seen as a significant setback for Trump and a complete rejection of his arguments that he did not inflate the values of his golf courses, hotels, and homes. The judge found the financial statements provided by the Trumps to be false and accused them of repeatedly engaging in fraud. The attorney general’s office has sought $250 million in damages, a ban on the Trumps from serving as officers of a business in New York, and a five-year prohibition on the company engaging in business transactions. While the full impact of the ruling remains unclear, questions have been raised regarding the dissolution of properties, potential impacts on assets outside of New York state, and the possibility of transferring assets to a new out-of-state company.