Judge Temporarily Blocks Dissolution of Trump Entities

But appellate judge also refuses Trump's request to halt $250 million civil fraud trial
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2023 4:48 PM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2023 7:00 AM CDT
Judge Rules Trump Committed Fraud
Former President Donald Trump pauses before ending his remarks at a rally in Summerville, SC, Sept. 25, 2023.   (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr., File)
UPDATE Oct 7, 2023 7:00 AM CDT

A New York appellate judge's order to cancel some of Donald Trump's business licenses has been temporarily blocked. CNN reports that the Friday ruling by Associate Justice Peter Moulton gives the Trump Organization and other business entities owned by the former president at least a month's reprieve, more than a week after Judge Arthur Engoron issued a summary judgment that Trump is liable for fraud. Trump attorney Christopher Kise had argued in the emergency hearing that "irreparable harm" would be done to his client's real estate, golf, and hospitality businesses if entities were shut down in New York state, per the Washington Post. A full panel will review Engoron's restrictions on Trump in the coming weeks. What Moulton didn't allow Friday, however: Trump's emergency request to halt the $250 million civil fraud trial. The trial will continue next week.

Sep 26, 2023 4:48 PM CDT

The trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil lawsuit against Donald Trump is due to begin next week, but a key part of it was resolved Tuesday when a state judge ruled that Trump and his company had committed fraud. Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that it was beyond dispute that Trump and the Trump Organization had defrauded banks and insurers for years by massively overvaluing assets, the AP reports. "The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business," Ergoron said of financial statements that overvalued Trump's wealth by as much as $3.6 billion, CBS News reports.

Ergoron ruled that James had established Trump had inflated the value of properties including his Mar-a-Lago estate and his Trump Tower penthouse. The judge said that in a deposition, Trump had offered defenses "wholly without basis in law or fact," reports Reuters. "He claims that if the values of the property have gone up in the years since the (financial statements) were submitted, then the numbers were not inflated at that time," Engoron wrote. "He also seems to imply that the numbers cannot be inflated because he could find a 'buyer from Saudi Arabia' to pay any price he suggests." The judge ordered the cancelation of some of Trump's business licenses.

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Engoron partially granted James' bid for a summary judgement to streamline the non-jury trial set to begin on Monday, and rejected a request from Trump's lawyers for a summary judgment to throw out some of the claims against him, the New York Times reports. The trial could still be delayed if an appeals court sides with Trump this week in a lawsuit he has filed against Engoron. The Tuesday ruling resolves the main claim in James' lawsuit but six others remain, the AP reports. The trial will also determine punishments. James is seeking penalties of up to $250 million, along with a ban on Trump doing business in New York. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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