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Trump Ordered to Pay $354m to New York for Lying to Banks

Donald Trump lying to banks
Trump was found liable for fraud, conspiracy and issuing false financial statements. Credit: Gage Skidmore. CC BY-2.0/Flickr

Former President Donald Trump must pay nearly $354m to New York state for lying to banks about the values of his properties, a judge has ruled.

Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump liable for fraud, conspiracy and issuing false financial statements and false business records, and he barred him from serving as director of a company in New York for three years.

But while he stopped short of dissolving the Trump Organization altogether, Engoron issued a blistering 93-page opinion that painted the former president as unremorseful and highly likely to commit fraud again.

Trump lied to banks

He made specific reference to the Trump Organization’s conviction in a criminal tax fraud case in 2022, where a jury found it had enriched its top executives with off-the-books benefits for more than a decade. “Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” Judge Engoron wrote.

Later he said: “The frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience.”

“In order to borrow more and at lower rates, defendants submitted blatantly false financial data to the accountants, resulting in fraudulent financial statements,” he wrote.

“When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants’ fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility.”

The judge is also requiring Trump pay interest on the profits he made by committing the fraud (known as “prejudgment interest”), which could bring the final amount penalty total to around $450m.

Trump will appeal the ruling

Speaking from his Florida estate, Trump said he would appeal the ruling.

“A crooked New York state judge just ruled I have to pay a fine for $350m for having built a perfect company,” the former president said from Mar-a-Lago on Friday, calling the ruling a political witch hunt. “It’s a very sad day for – in my opinion – the country.”

He also claimed that President Joe Biden was a hidden hand behind the civil fraud case in New York.

“All comes out of the DOJ, it all comes out of Biden,” Trump said. “It’s a witch hunt against his political opponent, the likes of which our country has never seen.”

CNN reports that Trump and his co-defendants will likely need to come up with the full judgment of $355 million ordered by the judge, with potentially more in interest, in order to move forward with an appeal.

It explains this is the typical procedure required by the law, though some of the details, including the total amount to be frozen, could change.

That money will be held in an account pending the appellate process, which could take years to litigate.

The 9 percent interest Judge Engoron ordered Trump and his company to pay on the nearly $355 million judgment will continue to accrue until it’s paid per the order, CNN says.

Related: Trump Doesn’t Have Presidential Immunity on January 6 Case, Court Rules

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