Trump slapped with whopping millions in fines and banned from business in New York trial

New York, New York – In a long awaited decision, a New York judge ordered Donald Trump on Friday to pay nearly $355 million after finding him liable for fraud and banned him from running businesses in New York state for three years.

A New York judge ordered Donald Trump on Friday to pay nearly $355 million ine fines after finding him and the Trump Org liable for fraud.
A New York judge ordered Donald Trump on Friday to pay nearly $355 million ine fines after finding him and the Trump Org liable for fraud.  © TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

The decision is years in the making and a major blow to Trump's business empire and financial standing.

"The Court hereby enjoins Donald Trump... from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years," Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in his ruling, ordering Trump to pay $354,868,768.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed the suit in September 2022 for $370 million in damages, alleging that Trump, members of his family, and his Trump Organization "used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations over 200 times in 10 years on his annual financial statements," which they then used "to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and insurance coverage."

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Jude Engoron already ruled in September that the Trump Org lied for years in a scheme that exaggerated the value of their properties.

The decision of damages from Engoron had been delayed after a court-ordered judge appointed to monitor Trump's businesses found more evidence of possible fraud.

After a dramatic trial that hit Trump with a contested gag order and saw him and his team in court from October to January, the former president Trump took the stand to deliver his own closing remarks last month. It defied an earlier decision from Engoron that he would not be able to do so because he failed to agree to certain conditions.

Trump New York case comes to dramatic close and fruad fine for Trump Org

Judge Arthur Engoron during closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last month.
Judge Arthur Engoron during closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last month.  © SHANNON STAPLETON / POOL / AFP

Trump – almost certain to be the Republican presidential nominee this November – was found liable for unlawfully inflating his wealth and manipulating the value of properties to obtain more favorable bank loans or insurance terms.

As the case was civil, not criminal, there was no threat of jail time. But Trump said ahead of the ruling that a ban on conducting business in New York state would be akin to a "corporate death penalty."

Trump, who faces 91 criminal indictments in other cases, has seized on his legal woes to fire up supporters and denounce his likely opponent President Joe Biden, claiming that court cases are "just a way of hurting me in the election."

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The extent of the order by Judge Arthur Engoron threatens to shatter his personal wealth and ability to earn in the future.

The "defendants' refusal to admit error – indeed, to continue it, according to the Independent Monitor – constrains this Court to conclude that they will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained," Engoron wrote in his scathing order.

"Indeed, Donald Trump testified that, even today, he does not believe the Trump Organization needed to make any changes based on the facts that came out during this trial."

It was as a property developer and businessman in New York that Trump built his public profile, which he used as a springboard into the entertainment industry and ultimately the presidency.

The judge's order was a victory for New York state Attorney General Letitia James. She had sought $370 million from Trump to remedy the advantage he is alleged to have wrongfully obtained, as well as having him barred from conducting business in the state.

Trump has repeatedly attacked James, calling her a "lunatic", as well as smearing Engoron, who decided the case without a jury, calling him "out of control."

Recap of Trump's big week in court

Trump appeared in a New York court this week for a separate trial, and had movement on several other cases he is on trial for.
Trump appeared in a New York court this week for a separate trial, and had movement on several other cases he is on trial for.  © MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The ruling caps a whirlwind legal week for Trump.

Trump appeared in a New York court Thursday ahead of a criminal trial, where he faces charges of illegally covering up hush money payments. This will be the first criminal trial of a former US president.

Trump's lawyers were also representing him in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is accused of conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden. The prosecutor in that case responded with barely concealed outrage Thursday to efforts to have her removed from the case for inappropriate behavior, testifying that her relationship with another lawyer on the case was above board.

A separate trial on Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election is on hold in Washington, DC, while Trump attempts to assert presidential immunity.

The twice-impeached former president is due to go on trial in Florida in May on charges of taking troves of highly secret documents in his personal belongings when he left the presidency and thwarting officials trying to recover them.

Just last month, another New York court ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to compensate writer E. Jean Carroll, whom he was found in a civil trial to have sexually assaulted, then defamed.

Trump's legal woes are taking a toll on his financial reserves for his bid to return to the White House. In 2023, Donald Trump spent more than $50 million in PAC donor money on legal fees, according to FEC filings.

Cover photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

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