top of page

Trump Found Liable for Over 450 Million Dollars

Written by Peter Beys

Edited by Queenie Lin and Annika Lilja


Photo by Shealah Craighead | Image under Public Domain

On February 16, 2024, a New York State court judge, Arthur F. Engoron found Trump liable for 355 million dollars (over 450 million including interest) for inflating the value of his properties to lenders in order to receive favorable loans from them. During the trial, Trump claimed it was a victimless crime, but the New York Attorney General, Laetitia James, and other legal experts disagree, explaining that when individuals lie to get a loan, others have to do the same in order to get a similar loan, causing inflation. Therefore, James argued that citizens of New York, who didn’t lie to lenders to receive more favorable loans, were the victims of the case, and the judge agreed. But despite violating the integrity of the lending system as a whole, Trump expressed no remorse during the trial. Instead, he yelled at the judge and James, deeming the case a political “witch hunt,” (Donald Trump via the New York Post) likely at least partially driving the ruling against his favor.


The judge also agreed to James’ request to ban Trump from doing business in New York for three years and Trump’s sons for two. Someone from outside the Trump family will likely have to take over their business—at least in New York, where they have many of their most famous properties. In fact, the judge also appointed someone to oversee Trump and his organization during the three-year ban. Watching for fraud and suspicious transactions, the monitor will report back to the court. The judge ordered that Trump pay a total of over 450 million dollars with interest. 


On February 26, 2024, Trump filed an appeal of the judgment. Trump still only has until March 25, 2024, to put up cash or properties for the appeal. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, is confident “that the Appellate Division will overturn this [...] fine” (Alina Habba via the New York Post). Regardless, if Trump loses the appeal, James will collect the payment and allocate the money toward public funding.


In speaking with others, I can identify three legitimate scenarios for Trump. If he has the cash, he’ll put up his own money for the appeal. Though Trump’s properties are valued at far more than 450 million dollars, he likely can’t liquidate enough of his assets in time because most of his money is in real estate. Alternatively, Trump may use campaign funds or donations to appeal. However, the rules are unclear whether he can legally do that. Finally, Trump could choose not to put up any money at all as part of the appeal and instead try to fight the judgment in other ways and try to settle for a smaller sum, likely also asking the appeals court to lift the restrictions barring him and his sons from running their business before his next judgment.


Regardless of what Trump does next, the outcome of this trial may extend even beyond forfeiting a large sum of money, damaging his reputation and setting a strict precedent for the future landscape of legal accountability in the financial and real estate sector

 

Sources:


Bromwhich, Jonah E., and Ben Protess. "Trump Fraud Trial Penalty Will Exceed $450 Million." The New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024. The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2024/02/16/nyregion/trump-civil-fraud-trial-ruling.html. Accessed 14 Mar. 2024.


Oliveira, Alex. "Trump Files to Overturn 'Egregious' $454M Civil Fraud Judgment That Found He Inflated Wealth to Fool Banks." New York Post, 26 Feb. 2024. New York Post, nypost.com/2024/02/26/us-news/trump-files-to-overturn-egregious-454m-civil-fraud-judgment-that-found-he-inflated-wealth-to-fool-banks/. Accessed 14 Mar. 2024.

コメント


bottom of page