Donald Trump faced a legal setback on Tuesday when a New York court declared him responsible for fraud in a civil lawsuit.
US media outlets reported that this case, brought forward by Attorney General Letitia James, focuses on Trump’s alleged inflation of his assets and misrepresentation of his wealth in documentation.
Last September, James initiated legal action against the former US President, accusing him and the Trump Organization of misrepresenting his asset values and overall net worth. The goal? To obtain favourable terms for bank loans and insurance. James asserts that Trump exaggerated his net worth, inflating figures between $2.23 billion to possibly even $3.6 billion on annual financial statements presented to banks and insurance companies.
Among the assets believed to have inflated values are Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, his luxury apartment in Trump Tower, Manhattan, and a selection of office structures and golf resorts.
Justice Engoron’s Observations
Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York State Court in Manhattan commented on James’ compelling case on false property evaluations, especially highlighting Mar-a-Lago and the Trump Tower penthouse. Engoron criticized Trump’s deposition defences as lacking both legal and factual substance.
Engoron remarked on Trump’s seemingly unfounded logic that if a property’s value was appreciated in the year’s post-statement submission, it wasn’t initially overvalued. The Justice also took note of Trump’s insinuation that these valuations could never be considered inflated, speculating that a potential “buyer from Saudi Arabia” might be willing to meet any quoted price.
With a trial date set for October 2, proceedings are expected to extend potentially through December.