April 20, 2024

Donald Trump and his family business have been fined a devastating $364 million for inflating property prices worth following a blockbuster fraud trial in New York.  

Judge Arthur Engoron also banned the former president from serving as the director of a company in the state for three years in the crushing ruling issued on Friday that puts the future of his business in the Big Apple in doubt.

His son’s Eric and Don Jr. were fined more than $4 million each and his former CFO Allen Weisselberg was fined $1million for the scheme to massively inflate prices of his properties including Mar-a-Lago to get favorable loan terms from lenders. 

Trump has up to 30 days to come up with the money, which with interest could top more than $400million, or secure a bond of around $35 million.

The staggering decision follows an explosive three-month court case where Trump took the stand and his children, including Ivanka, testified. 

Trump now owns more than $454 million for judgements in New York after a jury ordered him to pay up for defaming his rape accuser E. Jean Carroll. 

His net worth is believed to be around $2.6 billion, according to a Forbes estimate in September 2023, and most of his assets are tied up in his sprawling real estate and golf empire.

Donald Trump and his family business have been fined a devastating $364 million for inflating property prices worth following a blockbuster fraud trial in New York 

In this courtroom sketch former U.S. president Donald Trump watches as his lawyer Alina Habba delivers a closing argument in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 11, 2024

In this courtroom sketch former U.S. president Donald Trump watches as his lawyer Alina Habba delivers a closing argument in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 11, 2024

New York Attorney General Letitia James addresses the media outside New York Supreme Court, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in New York

New York Attorney General Letitia James addresses the media outside New York Supreme Court, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in New York

The Republican presidential frontrunner, according to Forbes, has $640 million in cash and assets and $870 million in golf clubs ands resorts.

His New York real estate is worth $690 million and his social media and brand businesses are worth $160 million. 

The Trump Organization called the ruling a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’, accused New York Attorney General Letitia James of ‘overreach’ and said Deutsche Bank made ‘hundreds of millions’ doing business with them.

‘Every member of the New York business community, no matter the industry, should be gravely concerned with this gross overreach and brazen attempt by the Attorney General to exert limitless power where no private or public harm has been established. 

‘If allowed to stand, this ruling will only further expedite the continuing exodus of companies from New York.’

On Truth Social Friday, Trump complained about the unfairness of the judgment in several posts. 

Former President Donald Trump sent out a series of Truth Social posts Friday afternoon railing against the judgment

Former President Donald Trump sent out a series of Truth Social posts Friday afternoon railing against the judgment 

‘The Justice System in New York State, and America as a whole, is under assault by partisan, deluded, biased Judges and Prosecutors. Racist, Corrupt A.G. Tish James has been obsessed with “Getting Trump” for years, and used Crooked New York State Judge Engoron to get an illegal, unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business,’ the former president wrote. ‘I helped New York City during its worst of times, and now, while it is overrun with Violent Biden Migrant Crime, the Radicals are doing all they can to kick me out.’ 

‘This “decision” is a Complete and Total SHAM,’ the 2024 hopeful continued. ‘There were No Victims, No Damages, No Complaints. Only satisfied Banks and Insurance Companies (which made a ton of money), GREAT Financial Statements, that didn’t even include the most valuable Asset – The TRUMP Brand, IRONCLAD Disclaimers (Buyer Beware, and Do your Own Due Diligence), and amazing Properties all over the World.’ 

‘All the other side had was a ridiculous $18 million valuation of magnificent Mar-a-Lago, an unConstitutional Gag Order, a Consumer Fraud Statute never before used for this purpose, No Jury allowed, and a refusal to send this disgusting charade to the Commercial Division, where it would have been put to a deserving end…,’ Trump continued in a second post. 

‘This “case” is OVER ever since the Appellate Division ended it on Statute of Limitations, also letting my daughter Ivanka out of this Witch Hunt. The Democrat Club-controlled Judge Engoron has already been reversed four times on this case, a shameful record, and he will be reversed again,’ he added. ‘We cannot let injustice stand, and will fight Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized persecution at every step. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!’ 

The former president gave evidence during the trial and railed against the judge and prosecutor, arguing he had done nothing wrong and was being persecuted by political opponents.

Engoron had already found Trump, and his sons Don Jr. and Eric, liable for fraud and the trial was to determine how much they should pay. 

James had demanded over $370 million from Trump and that he be barred from doing business in the state of New York

James accused Trump and his family businesses of overstating his net worth by billions of dollars.

She sought to permanently ban Trump from New York’s real estate industry and sharply limit his ability to do business in the state.

During the case Trump lambasted James, an elected Democrat, as partisan, ‘racist’ and ‘corrupt’.

He also conducted an ongoing feud with Judge Engoron and his clerk, which led to the former president being subjected to a gag order.

In closing arguments on January 11 Trump defied the judge and gave a six-minute diatribe after his lawyers spoke.

‘I am an innocent man,’ Trump protested. ‘I’m being persecuted by someone (James) running for office. What’s happened here, sir, is a fraud on me.’

Trump said he was being targeted by officials who ‘want to make sure I don’t win again.’

Judge Engoron told Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise to ‘control your client’.

Trump has been represented by his firebrand lawyer Alina Habba. On Thursday she admitted she didn't have 'high hopes' for the verdict

Trump has been represented by his firebrand lawyer Alina Habba. On Thursday she admitted she didn’t have ‘high hopes’ for the verdict 

At one point in proceedings Judge Arthur Engoron told the former president's lawyer to 'control your client'

At one point in proceedings Judge Arthur Engoron told the former president’s lawyer to ‘control your client’

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. How much is Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago worth? That's been a point of contention after a New York judge ruled that the former president exaggerated the Florida property's value when he said it's worth at least $420 million and perhaps $1.5 billion.

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. How much is Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago worth? That’s been a point of contention after a New York judge ruled that the former president exaggerated the Florida property’s value when he said it’s worth at least $420 million and perhaps $1.5 billion.

A penthouse in Trump Tower was p[art of the case after prosecutors said its value had been inflated by $200 million by tripling the estimate of the square footage.

A penthouse in Trump Tower was p[art of the case after prosecutors said its value had been inflated by $200 million by tripling the estimate of the square footage.

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against Donald Trump

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against Donald Trump

James argued a massive fine was warranted due to the former president’s ‘myriad deceptive schemes’ to ‘inflate asset values and conceal facts.’

She claimed the alleged fraud schemes were ‘so outrageous that they belie innocent explanation.’

Trump’s attorneys fired back, saying that James had ‘no evidence’ and insisted there was not a single witness who backed up the allegations.

They also argued there were ‘no victims’ as banks were fully repaid.

The court valued Mar-a-Lago at between $18 million and $27.6 million based on the Palm Beach County tax appraiser’s estimates.

One Trump valuation when securing a loan put the value at 2,300 per cent of that.

During the case Trump claimed Mar-a-Lago was really worth up to $1.5 billion.

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Arthur Engoron, right, and principal law clerk Allison Greenfield listen to closing arguments in the civil business fraud trial against the Trump Organization at New York Supreme Court, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024,

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Arthur Engoron, right, and principal law clerk Allison Greenfield listen to closing arguments in the civil business fraud trial against the Trump Organization at New York Supreme Court, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024,

Ivanka Trump speaks on the witness stand during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 8, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

Ivanka Trump speaks on the witness stand during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 8, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

Donald Trump Jr is questioned during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 2, 2023

Donald Trump Jr is questioned during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 2, 2023

Another argument was over the former president’s penthouse in Trump Tower.

Prosecutors said Trump inflated its value by about $200 million after tripling the estimate of the square footage to 30,000 sq ft.

Months before the trial the former president came face-to-face with James when he sat for a deposition at her Manhattan office.

Video of the seven-hour, closed-door session showed the Republican presidential frontrunner attacking the lawsuit as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘a terrible thing.’

Sitting with arms folded Trump complained that he was being forced to ‘justify myself to you’ after decades of success building a real estate empire.

He added that banks ‘want to do business with me because I’m rich’ and that New York authorities ‘spend all their time investigating me, instead of stopping violent crime in the streets.’

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after completing his testimony at his trial in New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023 in New York City

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after completing his testimony at his trial in New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023 in New York City

Ivanka Trump is shown multiple exhibits on the witness stand during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 8, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

Ivanka Trump is shown multiple exhibits on the witness stand during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 8, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

Members of the news media are outside the lower Manhattan courthouse in New York on Thursday, January 11, where Judge Arthur Engoron presides over a trial to resolve remaining claims in New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, his company and top executives

Members of the news media are outside the lower Manhattan courthouse in New York on Thursday, January 11, where Judge Arthur Engoron presides over a trial to resolve remaining claims in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, his company and top executives

Judge Engoron ruled last year that Trump had committed fraud in sending 11 years of allegedly inflated estimates of his net worth to Deutsche Bank and others. 

But some legal experts have expressed concern that victory for James could make it easier for courts to wipe out companies in the future.

Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate lawyer, said it would ‘set a horrible precedent’. 

Under the New York anti-fraud statute, known as Executive Law 63(12), there have been only a handful of cases resulting in a ‘dissolution,’ and in all of those there were victims and losses.

Trump’s was the only big business that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.

.S. President Donald Trump and Justice Arthur Engoron of the state Supreme Court listen to opening arguments from his lawyer Alina Habba (not seen), during the trial of Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others in a civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, at a Manhattan courthouse, in New York City, U.S., October 2, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

.S. President Donald Trump and Justice Arthur Engoron of the state Supreme Court listen to opening arguments from his lawyer Alina Habba (not seen), during the trial of Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others in a civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, at a Manhattan courthouse, in New York City, U.S., October 2, 2023 in this courtroom sketch

Judge Arthur F. Engoron consults with his law clerk Allison Greenfield during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 20, 2023, in this courtroom sketch

Judge Arthur F. Engoron consults with his law clerk Allison Greenfield during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 20, 2023, in this courtroom sketch

Of those entities previously shut down under the New York statute one was a charity that used nearly all its $9 million in donations to pay for director salaries, perks and other expenses instead of funding free mammograms.

In another case a private equity firm was closed down after stealing millions of dollars from thousands of investors.

A mental health facility was dissolved for taking $4 million from public funds while neglecting patients.

Other businesses shut down under the law included one that swindled people out of their home deeds.