In the latest development concerning former US President Donald Trump's legal troubles, a judge in New York found the former commander-in-chief "liable for fraud" Tuesday in showing his bloated wealth and overvalued assets, despite his several attempts to delay the trial at the last moment, US media reported.
Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general Letitia James (D), found that Donald Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth in papers used in securing financing and other benefits.
Trump who is also a 2024 presidential hopeful tried to toss the case which was also denied by the judge. The remaining matters will trialled on Monday.
Arthur Engoron also allowed the attorney general to prohibit five lawyers of the 77-year-old from bringing up dismissed arguments in the court, ordering them to pay a $7,500 fine each.
Engoron wrote: "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."
"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."
James is suing Donald Trump, the Trump Organization and two of his adult children — Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr — claiming more than a decade of fraud.
According to the case, Trump’s company sought lower taxes and better insurance coverage by deceiving institutions and changing the value of its assets.
The office of the attorney general is seeking some $250 million in penalties. It also seeks to prohibit the former president and his children from serving as officers or directors of New York-registered or licensed corporations.