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A judge’s ruling on Friday in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial deals a severe blow to the former president, who is now barred from running the New York-based company that for decades has served as the hub of his global business empire. 

In a 92-page decision, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron barred Trump from serving as an officer or director of any corporation or other legal entity in the state for three years, while his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., were banned for two years, according to the ruling. 

Trump and The Trump Organization were also ordered to pay penalties of $354 million in what is one of the stiffest corporate sanctions in New York history. The total jumps to $453.5 million when pre-judgment interest is factored in. 

Engoron ruled last fall that Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, “repeatedly” violated state fraud law by systemically misrepresenting the value of some of his properties and his overall net worth. That enabled his business to obtain loan rates and other financial terms that they otherwise wouldn’t have received, New York Attorney General Letitia James had claimed in filing suit against Trump.


Breaking down the Trump New York civil fraud case decision

10:32

More specifically, James’ allegations included falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements and insurance fraud. James’ office claimed that Trump’s misrepresentations led to the company collecting $370 million in “ill-gotten gains.”

Friday’s ruling also appoints Judge Barbara Jones to continue in her role as an independent monitor of Trump’s businesses for at least three years. It orders the addition of an independent director of compliance at the Trump Organization, with Engoron ruling that this person will be responsible for “ensuring good financial and accounting practices.”

“[T]he more evidence there is of defendants’ ongoing propensity to engage in fraud, the more need there is for the Court to impose stricter injunctive relief,” Engoron wrote in his verdict. “This is not defendants’ first rodeo.”


Donald Jr. and Eric Trump fined millions in civil fraud case

16:58

It’s possible Trump could appoint a trusted adviser to run his business during the three-year ban, noted John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert on corporate governance and white collar crime. 

“I doubt that he can appoint someone else without the court’s approval, but one candidate that he will think of is Ivanka, his daughter, who is not a defendant,” Coffee told CBS MoneyWatch. “When Martha Stewart was barred from serving as a director of her own business, which like Trump had her name on it, she appointed her daughter as CEO for three years.”

Ivanka Trump, once an executive at The Trump Organization, was originally named as a defendant in the fraud suit, but an appellate court later dismissed allegations against her due to the state’s statute of limitations.

Trump: “unAmerican judgment against me”

In a statement, Trump, who is expected to appeal, decried the verdict, calling it “unAmerican” and “a Complete and Total SHAM.”

“There were No Victims, No Damages, No Complaints,” Trump said in his statement. “Only satisfied Banks and Insurance Companies (which made a ton of money), GREAT Financial Statements, that didn’t even include the most valuable Asset – The TRUMP Brand.”

The decision comes just weeks after a federal jury ruled that Trump must pay $83.3 million in damages for defamatory statements he made denying that he sexually assaulted the writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump is also facing numerous additional legal cases

“These bills are really racking up for Trump,” said CBS News legal analyst Katrina Kaufman shortly before the verdict was announced. James “asked for a lifetime ban on Trump in New York’s real estate industry, which is huge for him. This is where he started as a businessman.”

Trump could see the damages reduced on appeal, Columbia’s Coffee said. But to appeal, Trump would have to post a bond covering the $354 million in penalties, he added.

“That will be costly,” Coffee said. “Some banks will post the bond for him, for a hefty fee, but they will want security that they can liquidate easily, and that may require some sale of some of his assets.”


Breaking down Trump’s legal battles after being ordered to pay $83 million to E. Jean Carroll

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Trump and his legal team had long expected a defeat, with the former president decrying the case as “rigged” and a “sham” and his lawyers laying the groundwork for an appeal before the judgment was even issued. 

In 2023, Engoron found that Trump and his company overstated the valuations of many properties by hundreds of millions. The judge cited the Palm Beach, Florida, real estate assessor’s valuation of his Mar-a-Lago club at as low as $18 million — an amount on which Trump paid local property taxes. At the same time, Trump valued the property at as much as $714 million on his annual statements of financial conditions.

Separately, Trump also faces charges in four criminal proceedings. The first trial, which centers on a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, is scheduled to begin in Manhattan on March 25. He has pleaded not guilty in all four cases. 

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