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Trump Fined $355M, Banned From N.Y. Business In Fraud Verdict

New York

Former President Donald Trump has been ordered to pay fines of $354.8M after a New York judge delivered his verdict in a historic civil trial Friday afternoon.

Former President Donald Trump

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron also banned Trump from serving as an officer or director at a New York business for three years and enjoined him and entities he controls, including The Trump Organization, from applying for loans with financial institutions chartered by or registered with the state.

In his 92-page ruling, Engoron also banned Trump's eldest sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., from running a business in the state for the next two years and fined them each more than $4M. Former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was fined $1M, and he and former company Controller Jeffrey McConney were permanently banned from serving as financial control officers in the state.

"In order to borrow more and at lower rates, defendants submitted blatantly false financial data to the accountants, resulting in fraudulent financial statements," Engoron wrote in the ruling. "When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants’ fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility or to impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences."

The penalties could increase past $400M with interest, Bloomberg reported.

The verdict follows a contentious trial from last fall, which came after Engoron had already ruled in September that Trump and his family business had committed “persistent and repeated” fraud. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the suit in 2022, originally sought $250M in penalties, but she upped her requested amount in December to $370M.

The ruling, which Trump will appeal, The New York Times reported, throws into question the future of The Trump Organization, which owns multiple Manhattan skyscrapers as well as golf courses and other properties in the state.

Engoron also extended his previous ruling that an independent monitor must oversee the business for an additional three years and also ruled the monitor, former Judge Barbara Jones, must install an independent compliance officer.

The judge agreed with James’ office's claims that The Trump Organization had inflated the value of its properties by as much as $2B to score loans and insurance deals while also misvaluing assets to lower its property taxes.

"Defendants reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains through their unlawful conduct," James wrote in a December brief.

Engoron stopped short of revoking The Trump Organization's business license, the "corporate death penalty" he ordered in the fall before an appeals court overturned the decision.

The twists and turns of the case included testimony from former Trump Organization executives, demands that Trump and his children be banned from working in New York City real estate for five years, and an attempt by Engoron to strip The Trump Organization of its business licenses partway through proceedings.

Friday’s verdict was delivered as another case kicked off against Trump, with a criminal jury trial over alleged hush money payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels set to start in New York on March 25.

Three other criminal trials, covering allegations of illegally holding onto documents from his presidency at his Florida residence after his term ended and plotting to overturn the 2020 election results, are set to start while Trump continues his campaign to retake the presidency this year. 

This is a developing story.