US court finds Trump guilty of fraud

A court in New York found former US President Donald Trump guilty of fraud for overstating the value of his ets by billions of dollars when filing financial statements with banks and insurance companies, Bloomberg reports.

The lawsuit was filed by the New York State Attorney’s Office in September 2022, and the case will continue on October 2. The focus will be on allegations of falsifying corporate reporting and providing false financial data. The state is also seeking $250 million in damages from Trump.

Trump’s real estate company and his two adult sons are also defendants in the lawsuit. They were accused of artificially inflating the value of the ex-president’s largest ets between 2011 and 2021. in order to obtain more favorable conditions when cooperating with banks and insurers.

The agency notes that the former head of the White House will most likely appeal the court’s decision. Overall, it is one of six cases against Trump, including four criminal prosecutions, that will go to trial ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Trump calls the charges brought against him politically motivated and accuses the administration of US President Joe Biden of persecuting his main opponent. The Republican currently leads the Democrat in popularity in the polls.

The New York prosecutor filed a lawsuit against both Trump and his children, the financial director of the Trump Organization and the organization itself, accusing all defendants of fraud, but this is a civil matter, US lawyer Igor Slabykh explained to Vedomosti. The crux of the matter is that when Trump had to pay taxes, his organizations and managers, one of whom was himself, understated the value of the property and its condition. But when it was necessary to get loans, they overestimated the area and quality, continues Slabykh.

The trial in this case was supposed to begin on October 3, both parties filed motions for the so-called summary judjement, which means that the case does not need to be considered on the merits because the parties do not have a dispute regarding the factual circumstances, and the court does not need to question witnesses for their establishment – everything has been established in the case and it is enough for the court to familiarize itself with the documents, the lawyer explains.

The meeting on summary judjement was held last week and today the judge made a decision, refusing to dismiss the case from the defendants – they insisted that the documents showed that there was no violation or fraud. The judge also considered the prosecutor’s request and partially agreed with it on one of the grounds of the claim that the defendants committed “civil fraud” by distorting and manipulating prices, that is, the claim was partially satisfied, says Slabykh.

“Further on this claim there are other claims that will be considered, since the available documents are still not enough for a decision. In essence, the judge agreed with the main demand of the prosecutor’s office. Trump and other defendants in this case face no criminal penalties other than damages and, potentially, possible liquidation of the Trump Organization,” the lawyer believes.

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