Advertisement

New York AG asks judge to fine Trump $370M in civil fraud case

By Ehren Wynder
New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to permanently ban former U.S. President Donald Trump from working in New York real estate. She also called for a five-year ban on his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who claimed they only had "peripheral knowledge or involvement" in their father's financial statements. Photo by Louis Lanzano/UPI.
New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to permanently ban former U.S. President Donald Trump from working in New York real estate. She also called for a five-year ban on his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who claimed they only had "peripheral knowledge or involvement" in their father's financial statements. Photo by Louis Lanzano/UPI. | License Photo

Jan. 5 (UPI) -- New York's attorney general called for a judge to fine former President Donald Trump $370 million and permanently ban him from doing real estate business in the state.

Ahead of closing remarks in the civil fraud case against the Trump Organization, Attorney General Letitia James on Friday asked Judge Arthur Engoron to fine Trump $370 million as a penalty and ban him for life from doing real estate business in New York.

Advertisement

James also is seeking a five-year ban on Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Jr., from conducting real estate business in the state, according to court documents.

The filing comes weeks after the conclusion of testimony in the civil fraud case in the Manhattan Supreme Court. James' office said the former president, his business and several top executives -- including his sons -- used "myriad deceptive schemes" to falsely inflate his net worth by billions.

James alleged Trump falsely inflated his statements of net worth by anywhere from $812 million to $2.2 billion. Her proposed fine includes $168 million in interest payments Trump allegedly avoided through fraud.

Advertisement

Trump denied the claims and said they were politically motivated.

Trump's lawyers argued the evidence at trial does not support a finding that he intended to defraud lenders and others. They also asserted banks wanted to work with the Trump Organization, did their own due diligence and found no fraud.

"Errors or misstatements happen all the time in accounting, if there are no indicia of fraud such as concealment, forgery, or deceit, then there is no basis to determine that these SFCs are fraudulent, and any misstatements are just accidental errors," Trump's defense brief stated.

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump urged the judge to dismiss the case against them, saying the attorney general failed to prove they had "anything more than a peripheral knowledge or involvement in the creation, preparation or use" of their father's statements of financial condition.

"The record evidence and testimony adduced at trial conclusively establishes that the SFCs were prepared, in their entirety, by others at the company working in conjunction with the company's long time outside accountants," their lawyer, Clifford Robert, wrote in their joint post-trial brief.

Trump has five times now asked the judge to throw out the case, with each time being denied. His latest motion took place in December, where Engoron detailed the defense's "fatal flaws," the "most glaring" of which was to assume testimony from his expert accounting witnesses, Eli Bartov and Jason Flemmons, "is true and accurate."

Advertisement

Engoron said there were numerous errors in Trump's financial statements and by attempting to justify each one, "Prof. Bartov lost all credibility."

James' office and Trump's legal team are set to make their closing arguments next week. Engoron said he expects to issue his verdict by the end of January.

Latest Headlines