New York Supreme Court (i.e., trial court) judge Arthur Engoron ruled yesterday that the XPOTUS's eponymous family business committed fraud on such a scale that the company is no longer allowed to do business in New York State:
The surprising decision...is a major victory for Attorney General Letitia James in her lawsuit against Mr. Trump, effectively deciding that no trial was needed to determine that he had fraudulently secured favorable terms on loans and insurance deals.
Ms. James has argued that Mr. Trump inflated the value of his properties by as much as $2.2 billion and is seeking a penalty of about $250 million in a trial scheduled to begin as early as Monday.
Justice Engoron wrote that the annual financial statements that Mr. Trump submitted to banks and insurance companies “clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business.”
While the trial will determine the size of the penalty, Justice Engoron’s ruling granted one of the biggest punishments Ms. James sought: the cancellation of business certificates that allow some of Mr. Trump’s New York properties to operate, a move that could have major repercussions for the Trump family business.
In his order, Justice Engoron wrote scathingly about Mr. Trump’s defenses, saying that the former president and the other defendants, including his two adult sons and his company, ignored reality when it suited their business needs. “In defendants’ world,” he wrote, “rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air.”
The judge also levied sanctions on Mr. Trump’s lawyers for making arguments that he had previously rejected. He ordered each to pay $7,500, noting that he had previously warned them that the arguments in question bordered on being frivolous.
Wow. Who would have imagined that possibly the biggest grifter the United States has ever known, a man psychologically incapable of telling the truth, would have lied about his businesses? I mean, other than the sentient beings who have been laughing out loud at the man's self-description as a "billionaire" ever since he first uttered the word.
We've known for years that his "business empire" was a Potemkin village of naming rights and loans, with so many bankruptcies and defaults literally no respectable bank (and few disrespectable ones) would lend him any more money. Anyone who lived in New York as far back as the 1980s knew then that any nickels he could rub together came from someone else. But knowing he was full of shit and relying on fraudulent financial disclosures are two different things under the law.
I guess he'll have a few more bankruptcies under his immense belt soon. They'll go nicely with the 91 criminal charges against him.
And still, a third of the country think this man can do no wrong. Homines liber volunt credunt.