Trump and his companies fined $364 million

 February 16, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A New York judge who has faced accusations he's biased against President Trump is demanding $364 million in fines in a fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James, who campaigned on a promise of "getting" Trump.

Further, she was unable during the trial to show that anyone lost anything to the claimed "fraud" schemes, that involved the valuation of Trump properties.

Major bank institutions who did deals with Trump during that time period testified there was nothing fraudulent about Trump's accounting.

The judge in the case repeatedly censored Trump's comments about the case, and in fact, denied him permission to make statements on his own behalf in court.

The judge, Arthur Engoron, issued his ruling on Friday. He had decided by himself, before the trial, that Trump and his companies were guilty of fraud. The trial was only about damages.

He also ordered that Trump not serve as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years.

The results likely are to be appealed.

James originally had demanded $120 million in damages, but then exploded her demands to $370 million.

Engoron had refused to dismiss the case after Trump argued there was "tangible and overwhelming evidence" of bias on Engoron's part.

The Daily Caller News Foundation noted, "Trump’s real estate empire is the only big business that had been threatened with dissolution under the state’s anti-fraud law, an Associated Press analysis of nearly 150 civil cases across 70 years found."

According to Fox, "The court proceedings were contentious, with Engoron repeatedly placing Trump under a partial gag order to prevent him from criticizing court staff."

Trump dismissed James' allegations as a "witch hunt," and accused James and Engoron both of serving as political operatives for Democrats who want to foil his re-election bid this year.

His legal team also pointed out that no jury was part of the decision at any point.

"There was never an option to choose a jury trial," a Trump spokesperson said in an interview with Fox recently. "It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened."

Trump's lawyers pointed out that Trump's financial statements all had disclaimers, suggesting banks should conduct their own assessments, a routine business practice.

Fox said, "Throughout the trial, Trump attorneys brought witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank top executives, who testified the banks sought additional business from Trump, who they viewed as a 'whale of a client.' Trump's defense also brought in expert witnesses, including New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who reviewed the Trump financial statements at issue in the case and said he found no evidence of accounting fraud."

James, while campaigning for office, promised, "We’re definitely gonna sue him, we’re gonna be a real pain in the a--."

The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported on the opinion expressed by George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley.

He suggested James' demands to punish Trump could render her civil case "unconstitutional.”

He said a decision for crippling damages could trigger a higher-court review.

“It is relatively rare for civil damages to trigger constitutional review, and it is still far from clear that this case will rise to that level,” Turley wrote. "The New York law is unique in allowing massive penalties without the loss of a single dollar by a bank. However, James wants dissolution and crippling damages, and that could trigger a higher-court review.”

In the 1996 case BMW of North America v. Gore, the Supreme Court found that $2 million in punitive fines imposed on a company that repainted cars damaged in transit without informing customers violated the Due Process clause because it was “grossly excessive,” Turley said.

"One distinction between that case and the Trump proceeding is that the Supreme Court found no intentionally false statements by BMW — but the effective dissolution of Trump’s business and a quarter-billion dollars in damages may raise analogous concerns over excessive penalties,” he wrote.

“In the Trump case, the banks made money.” Turley continued. “It would be akin to the car owner’s value going up with the paint job but still hitting BMW with punitive damages."

Trump, in a statement, said, "This 'decision' is a Complete and Total SHAM. There were No Victims, No Damages, No Complaints. Only satisfied Banks and Insurance Companies (which made a ton of money), GREAT Financial Statements, that didn’t even include the most valuable Asset - The TRUMP Brand, IRONCLAD Disclaimers (Buyer Beware, and Do your Own Due Diligence), and amazing Properties all over the World. All the other side had was a ridiculous $18 million valuation of magnificent Mar-a-Lago, an unconstitutional Gag Order, a Consumer Fraud Statute never before used for this purpose, No Jury allowed, and a refusal to send this disgusting charade to the Commercial Division, where it would have been put to a deserving end."

He said, "This 'case' is OVER ever since the Appellate Division ended it on Statute of Limitations, also letting my daughter Ivanka out of this Witch Hunt. The Democrat Club-controlled Judge Engoron has already been reversed four times on this case, a shameful record, and he will be reversed again."

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts