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Judge deals major blow to Trump - Finds fraud in ‘inflated’ assets

By Jake Beardslee · September 27, 2023

In brief…

  • A New York judge ruled Trump committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets.
  • The ruling revoked the Trump Organization's business licenses in New York.
  • Trump decried the ruling as "un-Amercan" and vowed to appeal.
  • New York AG Lititia James seeks millions in penalties and wants to bar Trump from buying property in. the future.
A New York judge found Donald Trump (above) committed fraud by exaggerating his wealth in a major blow to the former president.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that former President Donald Trump committed fraud by exaggerating the value of his wealth, dealing a harsh blow to the Trump Organization. In his ruling, the judge cancelled the company’s New York business licenses.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron sided with New York Attorney General Letitia James, who argued that Trump made false statements in business documents to obtain favorable terms from banks. Specifically, Trump claimed his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower was 30,000 square feet when it was actually around 11,000 square feet.

“A discrepancy of this order of magnitude by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud,” Engoron wrote in his 35-page ruling.

The judge revoked the Trump Organization’s New York business certificates, meaning Trump could lose control of key properties such as Trump Tower. An independent third party will be tasked with dissolving the canceled LLCs.

Trump decried the ruling on Truth Social, calling it “an un-American attack” and vowing to appeal. His attorneys argued the claims were time-barred and the ruling was “disconnected from facts.”

The fraud ruling comes ahead of an October 2 trial where Engoron will hear arguments on other allegations by James’ office, including that Trump overvalued assets by up to $3.6 billion annually.

James seeks to recoup millions in penalties and bar Trump from buying commercial property.