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HomeGeneralTrump Files Appeal Against $454 Million Fine in New York Estate Fraud...

Trump Files Appeal Against $454 Million Fine in New York Estate Fraud Case

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Ex President Donald Trump in Court
Source: USA TODAY

Former President Donald Trump has been slapped with a $453.5 million penalty in a New York real estate fraud lawsuit. His liability includes $355 million in fines and accruing interest that has started running. According to state law, interest will continue accumulating at 9% annually until the judgment is settled. 

New York judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay $453.5 million, including interest. This figure also includes penalties and interest imposed on Trump’s sons, Don Jr. and Eric, amounting to roughly $4.7 million each. However, Trump and his sons have maintained their innocence and denied wrongdoing.

Furthermore, the judge barred them from engaging in business activities within the state. This ruling came in response to allegations of Trump fraudulently inflating the value of his real estate holdings. In the lawsuit, New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump of exaggerating the worth of his assets in financial statements submitted to banks.

Attorney James argued that Trump inflated his net worth to secure more favorable loan terms. However, the lenders did not initiate legal action against Trump to show that they suffered harm due to the inflation.

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ALSO READ: Trump Condemns Judge’s $355 Million Penalty, Claims His Persecution Will Lead to Demise of US

In a February 16 ruling, Justice Arthur Engoron stated that investigative reports on the fraudulent activities discovered were alarming. He says they “leap off the page and shock the conscience.”

“To borrow more and at lower rates, defendants submitted blatantly false financial data to the accountants, resulting in fraudulent financial statements,” Engoron said in a 92-page ruling. 

POLL — Should Donald J. Trump Be Allowed to Run for Office?

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Engoron described Trump and the other defendants’ refusal to acknowledge errors in the financial statements as “pathological.” The judge cited Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower as a clear example of the financial discrepancies. He noted that Trump claimed his penthouse was three times larger than it is.

“Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” Engoron wrote. “Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

ALSO READ: “Stop Interrupting Me!” Judge Slams Trump Lawyer Trying to Move Hush-Money Trial

The 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner is now facing a substantial financial burden. He, however, criticized Friday’s ruling on his social media platform.

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“A Crooked New York State Judge, working with a Corrupt Attorney General who ran based on ‘I will get Trump,’ before knowing anything about me or my company, has just fined me $355 Million based on nothing other than having built a GREAT COMPANY,” he wrote. “ELECTION INTERFERENCE. WITCH HUNT.”

“We will appeal,” Trump told reporters Friday night at his private Florida club. “We’ll be successful.” Now, the ex-president has appealed against the ruling. This appeal marks another chapter in the legal drama surrounding the controversial ex-president. 

Trump, alongside his two eldest sons, his organization executives, and several affiliated business entities, filed the appeal document on Monday. But, Trump did not outline his appellate arguments on Monday. However, legal experts anticipate that he will likely claim that the fraud for which he was held liable did not directly harm traditional victims. 

“We trust that the Appellate Division will overturn this egregious fine and take the necessary steps to restore the public faith in New York’s legal system,” Trump lawyer Alina Habba said in a statement on Monday.

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