Judge Arthur Engoron found former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable in the civil case New York Attorney General Letita James brought against the Trump Organization. The case is a $250 million fraud suit, the Courthouse News Service reports. Engoron wrote that Trump for years lied to banks and insurers by overvaluing his assets to build his corporate empire, and that he falsely inflated his personal net worth by up to $2.2 billion every year in order to gain more favorable bank loans and lower insurance premiums. Just days ago, Trump’s legal team asked to toss the entire case, calling state prosecutors “uneducated” about the real estate business. But it was Trump, Engoron found, whose professional practices veered from reality.
Trump frequently made false and misleading statements on annual financial forms, like overvaluing property values based on their future potential, rather than their current worth. Engoron imposed sanctions in Tuesday's ruling: He canceled New York business certificates for Trump and the other defendants, which include two of his adult children, and gave them 10 days to “recommend the names of no more than three potential independent receivers to manage the dissolution of the canceled LLCs.” With the ruling in James' favor, the trial set for next month will focus on determining damages for the Trump Organization's fraud. Trump's attorneys said he plans to appeal the decision immediately. Trump has long denied any wrongdoing. On Monday, the former president wrote on his Truth Social platform that he is “worth far more than is shown on my financial statements.” Jury selection is slated to begin on Monday, Oct. 2. Trial is expected to run through Dec. 22.