Trump to face trial in New York over business fraud allegations

Former US President Donald Trump has announced that he will attend a civil trial in New York on Monday, where he is accused of committing fraud in his business practices. The trial is the result of a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who claims that Trump and his company inflated the value of their assets to deceive lenders, insurers and tax authorities.

Trump says he will fight for his name and reputation

Trump, who is also campaigning for the 2024 presidential election, said on Sunday night that he will go to court to defend himself against the allegations. He posted a message on his Truth Social platform, calling the case a “sham” and accusing James and Judge Arthur Engoron of being biased against him.

“I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” Trump wrote. “THIS WHOLE CASE IS SHAM!!! See you in Court – Monday morning.”

Trump’s appearance in court will be a rare event, as he usually avoids testifying or attending trials. He did not show up in court when his company and one of its executives were convicted of tax fraud last year, nor when he was found liable for sexually assaulting the writer E Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room.

Trump to face trial in New York over business fraud allegations

Judge rules that Trump committed fraud

The civil trial in New York is the culmination of a yearslong investigation by James, who accused Trump and his company of habitually lying about his wealth in financial statements. Last week, Engoron resolved the top claim of the lawsuit before the trial even began, ruling that Trump routinely deceived banks, insurers and others by exaggerating the value of assets on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans.

Engoron said that Trump and his two eldest sons, Eric and Don Jr, along with other executives, overstated the value of their properties by $812m to $2.2bn between 2014 and 2021. He said that this amounted to “fraudulent inducement” and “fraudulent concealment” under New York law.

The judge also ordered Trump to pay $1.7m in damages to James for wasting her office’s resources and time. He said that Trump’s conduct was “egregious” and “unconscionable”.

Trial to determine further penalties and remedies

The trial, which is expected to last for several weeks, will determine what further penalties and remedies James can seek from Trump and his company. She has asked for a court order to revoke or modify the licenses of several Trump properties in New York, including Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Trump Plaza and Trump World Tower.

She has also requested that the court appoint an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s compliance with the law and prevent future fraud. Additionally, she has sought restitution for the victims of Trump’s fraud, as well as disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains.

James has said that her lawsuit is not motivated by politics, but by the rule of law. She has vowed to hold Trump accountable for his actions.

“No one is above the law — not even a former president,” she said in a statement last week.

Trial is one of many legal challenges facing Trump

The civil trial in New York is one of many legal challenges facing Trump, who faces several criminal investigations and lawsuits related to his presidency and his business dealings. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Washington, DC on March 4, on charges of trying to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

He is also facing criminal hush money charges in New York state court, where he is accused of paying off two women who alleged having affairs with him before he became president. He will also have to answer to federal charges in Florida, where he is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Finally, he will also face state charges in Georgia, where prosecutors say he illegally tried to get the southern state’s 2020 election results changed in his favor.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called all the investigations and lawsuits against him a “witch hunt” orchestrated by his political enemies.

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