New York judge formally orders Donald Trump to pay US$454.2 million in civil fraud case

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Donald Trump

24th February 2024 – (New York) Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been formally instructed by a New York judge to pay a staggering $454.2 million after being found liable for manipulating his net worth in a civil fraud case initiated by the New York state’s attorney general.

The ordered payment includes the $354.9 million penalty imposed by Justice Arthur Engoron of the state court in Manhattan on February 16, along with accumulated interest. The non-jury trial, which lasted for three months, led to this decision.

In addition to Donald Trump, the judge also ordered his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, to individually pay nearly $4.7 million, while the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, was directed to pay $1.1 million, all including interest.

The total payouts amount to $464.6 million, with more than $114,000 of interest continuing to accrue daily, primarily for Donald Trump alone. The judgment was made public on Friday, 21st February.

New York Attorney General Letitia James accused the defendants of unlawfully inflating the value of Trump’s properties to boost his net worth and obtain more favourable loan and insurance terms.

Justice Engoron also imposed a three-year ban on Donald Trump, preventing him from holding a top position at any New York company or seeking loans from state-registered banks. His adult sons were subjected to two-year bans from leadership roles.

The judge criticized the defendants, stating that their “complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.”

This is not the only legal battle Trump faces, as he is currently confronting four unrelated criminal prosecutions in which he has pleaded not guilty, all while attempting to regain the presidency from Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has accused Attorney General James and Justice Engoron, both Democrats, of corruption and labelled the case as part of a political witch hunt orchestrated by his opponents.

The former president intends to appeal the imposed penalty to the Appellate Division, a mid-level appeals court. However, he will need to either pay the owed amount or obtain a bond.

Justice Engoron rejected a request by Clifford Robert, the defendants’ lawyer, to delay enforcement of the judgments for 30 days to facilitate an orderly post-judgment process, citing the magnitude of the judgment. In an email response to Robert, Engoron expressed confidence that the Appellate Division would safeguard their appellate rights.