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Thursday April 18, 2024

Trump formally ordered to pay $454m in New York fraud case

By REUTERS
February 25, 2024

NEW YORK: Donald Trump was formally ordered by a New York judge to pay $454.2 million after being found liable for manipulating his net worth, in a civil fraud case brought by New York state’s attorney general.

Former US president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2022 (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on February 26, 2022. — AFP
Former US president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2022 (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on February 26, 2022. — AFP

The payment includes the $354.9 million penalty that Justice Arthur Engoron of the state court in Manhattan ordered on Feb. 16, plus interest, following a non-jury trial that stretched over three months. Engoron also ordered Trump’s adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, to each pay nearly $4.7 million, and the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, to pay $1.1 million, all including interest.

The payouts total $464.6 million and were determined on Thursday. More than $114,000 of interest will continue accruing daily, mostly for Donald Trump alone. The judgment was made public on Friday.

Attorney General Letitia James accused the defendants of illegally overstating the value of Trump’s properties in order to inflate his net worth and obtain better loan and insurance terms.

Engoron also banned Trump for three years from serving in a top role at any New York company, or seeking loans from banks registered in the state. His adult sons received two-year bans from leadership roles.

The judge said the defendants’ “complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.” Engoron’s decision threatens the business empire that Trump built over much of his adult life.

The Republican former president also faces four unrelated criminal prosecutions, in which he has pleaded not guilty, as he seeks to regain the White House from Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has accused James and Engoron, both Democrats, of being corrupt, and called the case part of a witch hunt by political opponents.

He plans to appeal his penalty to the Appellate Division, a mid-level appeals court, but would have to come up with the money owed or obtain a bond.