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A New York appeals court has rejected former President Donald Trump‘s bid to delay a civil fraud trial against him. 

Attorney General Letitia James has accused Trump, his adult sons and the Trump Organization of inflating the value of properties to suit the needs of their business. 

The decision, by the state´s intermediate appellate court, clears the way for Judge Arthur Engoron to preside over a non-jury trial starting Monday in Manhattan.  

Judge Engoron had ruled earlier this week that Trump had committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire, agreeing with the Attorney General. 

Trump’s legal team had sought to delay the case while his attorneys challenged earlier rulings. 

Former U.S. President  Donald Trump addresses auto workers as he skips the second GOP debate, in Clinton Township, Michigan, U.S., September 27, 2023

NY Attorney General Letitia James attends a press conference on gun violence prevention and public safety on July 31, 2023

James found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

She said he boosted valuations by up to $2 billion, inflating the value of signature assets including the Mar-a-Lago club where he now resides and his Manhattan penthouse apartment at Trump Tower.

Trump, his company and key executives repeatedly lied about them on his annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums, Engoron found.

Those tactics crossed a line and violated the law, the judge said, rejecting Trump’s contention that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.

Engoron’s ruling, in a phase of the case known as summary judgment, resolves the key claim in James’ lawsuit, but six others remain. 

The judge cited discrepancies calculated by James’ office between what the company claimed and what assets are worth.

‘A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud,’ he said – pointing to Trump’s assessments of his Trump Tower penthouse as being 30,000 square feet when in fact it was 11,000.

Engoron also issued a ruling that the various company business certificates in New York state are cancelled and ordering the parties to find receivers to ‘manage the dissolution’ of the cancelled companies.

But in court on Wednesday, the judge wasn’t quite ready to answer the questions on whether the assets would get sold.

‘I’m not prepared to issue a ruling right now but we will take that up in various contexts, I’m sure,’ Engoron said.

Manhattan prosecutors had looked into bringing a criminal case over the same conduct but declined to do so, leaving James to sue Trump and seek penalties that could disrupt his and his family´s ability to do business in the state.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House

Trump took to Truth Social to say it was ‘a very sad day for the New York State System of Justice’

James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York, his home state. The trial could last into December, Engoron has said.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, arguing that some of his assets are worth far more than what´s listed on annual financial statements that Engoron said he used to secure loans and make deals. 

In reaction to the ruling earlier this week by Engoron, Trump took to Truth Social to say it was ‘a very sad day for the New York State System of Justice.’

‘This is the Judicial conduct that is forcing thousands of companies to flee New York for other environs, while virtually nobody comes back to the City or State.’

The civil trial could run through the end of the year, as Trump continues to lead the GOP field for the Republican presidential nomination.

The ruling Tuesday came in a civil lawsuit brought by James, even as Trump faces multiple criminal indictments in multiple jurisdictions related to his election overturn effort and other matters.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a political rally on July 29, 2023 in Pennsylvania 

Trump has long accused James and other prosecutors in New York of coming after him, in what he described as a ‘witch hunt’. 

While under questioning, the former President also compared his golf and real estate empire to the Mona Lisa and other priceless art works.

Trump made the extraordinary claim while describing his decision to hand off control of his business to his adult sons Don Jr. and Eric during his term as president – with New York AG Letitia James sitting across from him in a Manhattan courthouse for a deposition.

‘We have the Mona Lisas of properties,’ Trump told the prosecuting attorney in the April deposition unsealed Wednesday.

Then he bragged about his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland. ‘I could sell that. That’s like selling a painting. A painting on a wall that sells for $250 million,’ he continued.

‘I have great assets,’ Trump gushed – raving about Mar-a-Lago as well as his property at 40 Wall Street, which he said is ‘the best location,’ he told prosecutor Kevin Wallace in James’ office.

Prosecutors claim he has jacked up his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion every year over a decade. 

James argues Trump inflated his valuations when seeking lending. Trump’s lawyers are asking a judge to toss the suit, calling it a ‘crusade’ over long-ago loans that have been repaid.

‘You don’t have a case and you should drop this case,’ Trump told James.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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