Philadelphia, PA asked in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for New York

Q: What exactly is the civil fraud case trump is charged with and how serious is it? Was the 454 million dollars too much?

Just want a summary. Not asking for political views or trying to state an opinion.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The civil fraud case against Donald Trump involves allegations made by the New York Attorney General's office, led by Letitia James. The case alleges that Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in financial fraud by inflating asset values on financial statements provided to banks and insurers to secure better loan terms and insurance coverage, while providing lower values for tax purposes. This discrepancy in valuations aimed to portray Trump's wealth and financial status more favorably than it actually was, misleading financial institutions and tax authorities.

The lawsuit has led to a New York judge ruling against Trump, imposing a $364 million penalty over the claimed years-long scheme to inflate his wealth through misleading financial statements. Additionally, Trump has been barred from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years. While the penalty is significant, it was not the full dissolution of Trump's companies, which had been a possibility earlier in the case.

The $454 million figure encompasses fines and accrued interest, making it one of the most significant financial judgments against Trump. This amount reflects both the penalties for the fraudulent activities alleged by the state and the interest that adds up until the sum is paid. Whether this amount is deemed "too much" can be subjective and is likely to be debated legally and publicly. Trump and his legal team have indicated their intent to appeal the ruling, arguing there were no victims in the alleged frauds and maintaining that financial institutions involved conducted their due diligence.

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