The Future of Donald Trump’s Business Empire Hangs in the Balance

The judge presiding over the civil fraud case involving Donald Trump and his company is expected to make a decision on the penalty as early as Friday.

Judge Arthur Engoron had initially set a deadline for himself to rule on the fraud lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James by January 31. However, he was unable to meet this self-imposed deadline. He expressed his intention to make a ruling by mid-February and hoped to provide a decision soon.

A potential penalty would deal a significant blow to Trump, who achieved fame and wealth in the real estate industry. He often attributes his success in politics to his sharp business acumen. Despite this, the former president has consistently denied any wrongdoing and asserts that the case against him is a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Trump has been accused of submitting financial statements that are fraudulent, as they allegedly exaggerated the worth of his properties and assets by billions of dollars. These alleged actions were supposedly done to secure benefits such as better loan terms and tax breaks.

In September 2022, James filed a lawsuit against Trump, The Trump Organization, and Eric and Donald Trump Jr., among others, seeking $250 million in penalties.

In early January, James’ office presented an argument stating that Trump and the others mentioned in her lawsuit should be held accountable for paying $370 million in penalties. The claim is based on the allegation that Trump’s financial statements had significantly inflated his net worth for a prolonged period of time.

Engoron has the authority to impose various penalties, including prohibiting the former president and The Trump Organization from conducting any business activities in New York.

There is also a possibility that Trump may lose control over his properties or be banned from applying for any new loans in the state for a period of five years.

Trump’s legal team was contacted by Newsweek for comment via email.

According to lawyer and legal analyst Lisa Rubin, in a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter), she explained that Engoron’s ruling can be appealed but cannot be disregarded if Trump, who is currently the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, emerges as the winner in the upcoming November election.

According to Rubin, it is not possible for Trump to simply relocate his companies from New York to avoid facing consequences.

In September 2022, on the same day James announced the lawsuit, a new entity named the Trump Organization II was registered in New York state.

James’ office has called for the implementation of measures to prevent the original Trump Organization from transferring assets out of New York to the Delaware company or any other location without court approval prior to the civil trial.

In November 2022, Engoron granted James’ request and established an independent monitor to ensure that any transactions involving the Trump Organization are not carried out without first notifying James’ office or the courts. Trump attorney Alina Habba had previously reassured that the real estate company had no intention of engaging in any improper activities related to asset transfers.

According to Rubin, the Trump Organization cannot simply relocate their properties or assets to new business entities outside of New York without informing the judge or the Attorney General. He compared their actions to playing a game of three-card Monty, a reference to a deceptive street game. Rubin’s statement suggests that the Trump Organization should not be allowed to evade legal consequences by attempting to move their assets.

Instead, they are forced to provide their adversaries, a court, and the court-appointed monitor with a two-week advantage. During this period, they risk the possibility of facing additional injunctions.

They are primarily stuck in place, and on Friday, the situation could potentially worsen significantly.

Uncommon Knowledge

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