A New York judge ruled Tuesday that former President Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire.
Judge Arthur Engoron found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers, and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth in paperwork used to make deals and secure financing.
Engoron’s ruling is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully cultivated image as a wealthy and successful businessman. The judge found that Trump and his company repeatedly lied about his financial statements, even though the statements included a disclaimer.
Engoron’s ruling resolves the key claim in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York. The trial is scheduled to begin October 2 and could last into December.
Trump’s lawyers have denied the allegations and asked the judge to throw out the case. They argue that James wasn’t legally allowed to file the lawsuit and that many of the allegations are barred by the statute of limitations.