Trump faces fraud charges that could cost him and his family business hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, threatening his business career and affecting his campaign to return to the White House in the 2024 elections. Just a few miles south of Trump Tower in New York City, a judge today listened to allegations of fraud within the Trump Organization in a trial that could see Donald Trump pay significant penalties.
Fraud and deception
The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, has accused Trump of using false and misleading financial statements from 2011 to 2021 to make himself and his companies appear wealthier, assisting him in securing loans and obtaining financing. Based on her office’s three-year investigation, James argues that Trump owes at least $250 million for his alleged fraud crimes.
The British newspaper “The Guardian” reported that during the three-year investigation, James found that Trump exaggerated the value of 23 of his properties and assets by hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. Trump used these financial data to secure favorable loans and make his net worth appear higher than it actually was.
Trump stated that he would appear in court on Monday. He said on his Truth Social account on Sunday, “I will go to court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation.” Civil Trial
The trial is a bench trial, meaning there will be no jury, and the presiding judge for the case, Arthur Engoron of the New York Supreme Court, will be the sole decision-maker. Since this is a civil trial, Trump will not be sent to prison if convicted, and he will not have to testify in court.
The newspaper added that things have not gone well for Trump’s camp so far. Engoron, on the previous Tuesday, condemned Trump on fraud charges, stating that the evidence presented showed the continuous use of false financial data. He added that Trump was operating in a “fantasy world, not a real world.”
Engoron in his ruling handed down a tragic punishment to Trump, along with his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, whose business certificates will be revoked. This will make it nearly impossible for them to continue doing business in New York.
The newspaper further noted that while Trump and his three adult children, including Ivanka Trump, are on the witness list, it is unclear whether they will be called to testify, and even if summoned, they can choose not to appear. However, the judge can use that against them when making his decision. The trial is set to continue until December 22, although it is unlikely to last that long, as the judge previously settled a key question: whether Trump actually committed fraud, and the case now focuses on the amount he will have to pay as a result.