Donald Trump’s real estate empire could be about to crumble after a judge ruled that the former president committed fraud.
The ex-president’s properties will likely be liquidated and sold off at auction after a judge found he had committed fraud, New York’s former assistant attorney general has said.
Tristan Snell sounded the death knell on Trump’s sprawling property portfolio after a court found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans.
“The worst outcome that could have come from this case has already been handed down, and that is for the corporate licenses to be canceled,” Snell told MSNBC.
“The properties are likely going to be liquidated. The properties are probably going to be sold at auction. That’s probably what is going to happen. We don’t know that for sure, but that is probably where this is headed. So [Trump] is already really, really in trouble.”
Judge Arthur Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee Trump Organization operations.
Snell noted that it was important to remember that Trump has already lost, despite his protestations of innocence.
What we know so far
The civil case, filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accuses Trump and his business of exaggerating his wealth in financial statements that went to banks, insurers and others.
With accountant Donald Bender on the witness stand, state lawyers have sought to show that Trump and others at his company had full control over the preparation of the financial statements. Bender testified Tuesday that the Trump Organization didn’t always supply all the information needed to produce the documents.
Trump denies any wrongdoing, and his defense continued on Wednesday to fault Bender for any shortcomings in the statements.
As the cross-examination gathered pace with painstaking queries about specific aspects of individual financial statements, Judge Engoron pounded his fist and said the defense was ignoring his instructions to streamline the questioning.
Trump’s lawyers complained that the judge was compromising their ability to defend the former president and his real estate empire.
“I’ve never had to negotiate how to ask questions as a lawyer,” defense attorney Christopher Kise said.
Trump, the Republican front-runner in the 2024 presidential race, is voluntarily taking time out from the campaign trail to attend the trial. He was back for a third day Wednesday.
Engoron already has ruled that Trump engaged in fraud by inflating the values of prized assets including his Trump Tower penthouse.
The ruling could — if upheld after an appeal filed Wednesday — cost the former president control of his signature skyscraper and some other properties.
The trial concerns six claims that remained in the lawsuit after Engoron’s pretrial ruling, and the trial is to determine how much Trump might owe in penalties. James is seeking $250 million and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
Follow our social media accounts here on facebook.com/ExpressUSNews and @expressusnews
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Source: Read Full Article