Donald Trump, his company and kids ordered to face New York fraud suit

A judge has rejected a request by Donald Trump, his company and his three children to throw out a $250 million New York lawsuit accusing them of defrauding banks and insurance companies over the years about the value of the former president’s estate. was accused of giving – October keeping the matter on track for trial.

Trump’s motion to dismiss a civil fraud lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James was denied by state court Justice Arthur Angrone on Friday.

It is the latest in a string of rulings by the judge against the embroiled former president as part of the case. On Friday, Angoron said some defense claims by Trump’s legal team – including the lawsuit being part of a vast political “witch hunt” – were “borderline frivolous”.

“Here, the sophisticated defense attorney should have known better,” Angorone wrote. The judge declined to approve Trump’s attorneys after they threatened earlier this week that such action was “unnecessary” because the court “had kept its word.”

The ruling ensures that one of the biggest legal threats to Trump’s company will remain on voters’ radars as he seeks a return to the White House in 2024. Attack on the US Capitol.

James filed his lawsuit in September against Trump, the Trump Organization, and his three eldest children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump — all senior executives at the company. James accused him of manipulating the value of Trump’s properties in order to inflate his wealth. The state claims the scheme helped Trump secure better terms on loans and insurance, as well as lower his tax bill, resulting in at least $250 million in illegal profits.

“We look forward to receiving a full and fair review of our arguments on appeal,” Trump’s attorney Elina Habba said in a statement.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, but Angoron has repeatedly rejected his primary defense arguments – that the lawsuit is politically motivated, that James lacks legal standing to sue him. , and that his company’s accounting firm used disclaimers that were frowned upon by banks and insurers on their financial statements. Audit was not done.

Trump argued in court filings that James “essentially manufactured a case, even though there was no demonstration of any actual harm (to the public or anyone else).” The former president said in the filing that the “alleged victims” are all “corporate titans fully capable of pursuing their own legal rights.”

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“We sued Mr. Trump because we found that he engaged in widespread financial fraud to enrich himself and defraud the system,” James said in a statement. “Today’s ruling makes clear that Donald Trump is not above the law and must answer for his actions in court.”

The permission to continue the civil case comes after two Trump businesses and the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer were found guilty of tax-related crimes in a case brought by the Manhattan district attorney in collaboration with James.

The state’s attorney general previously barred Trump’s company from disposing of or transferring significant assets during the case without giving advance notice to a court-appointed monitor – a remarkable level of outside oversight of the former president’s company. Trump has appealed that decision.

Trump and his children were deposed as part of the pre-trial investigation, though the former president invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and did not answer any questions other than to confirm his name. gave.

Although her case is civil, James said she believed her investigation uncovered federal criminal liability and referred the case to Manhattan federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service.

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