Former U.S. President Donald Trump and his sons, Eric and Don Jr., have been accused of committing fraud by a New York judge. The judge, Arthur Engoron, didn’t mince words when he criticized Trump’s “fantasy world” of valuations, which included grossly inflating the worth of Trump Organization assets.
This ruling serves as a setback for Trump, who is already facing numerous legal battles, including federal criminal charges, allegations of mishandling classified documents, and even charges related to hush money payments and election interference.
It’s a partial victory for New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who has been relentless in her pursuit of justice against Trump and his associates. James claims that Trump and his team routinely exaggerated property values, deceiving tax collectors, lenders, and insurers for years.
The judge’s decision didn’t just stop at accusing Trump and his sons of fraud; it also led to the revocation of business licenses for some of the Trump Organization’s New York properties. James is seeking a hefty $250 million in penalties and the removal of Trump and his sons from the management of the Trump Organization.
Engoron didn’t hold back in his criticism, stating that in Trump’s world, “rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land.” He even pointed out a glaring discrepancy in the valuation of Trump’s Manhattan apartment, labeling it as outright fraud.
Despite the mounting legal troubles, Trump continues to dismiss these cases as “witch hunts” and has even resorted to name-calling. But the court’s decisions paint a different picture, one of legal accountability catching up to a man who once occupied the highest office in the land.