Judge Engoron Bans Trump From Running Business In NY

A leftist New York judge has ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $355 million over fraud allegations and banned him from running companies in the state for three years Friday in a significant blow to his business empire and financial standing.

Trump, almost sure to be the Republican presidential nominee this November, was found liable by a clearly biased judge in a Democrat stronghold for unlawfully inflating his wealth and “manipulating” the value of properties to obtain more favorable bank loans or insurance terms — a claim denied by experts, Trump and his legal team.

As the case was civil, not criminal, there was no threat of jail time, but Trump said ahead of the ruling that a ban on conducting business in New York state would be similar to a “corporate death penalty.”

Trump, who is being targeted with 91 criminal indictments in other cases, has seized on his legal woes to fire up supporters and denounce his likely opponent, President Joe Biden, claiming that court cases are just a way of hurting him in the election.

Judge Engoron ruled last fall that Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, “repeatedly” violated state fraud law by systemically misrepresenting the value of some of his properties and his overall net worth. That enabled his business to obtain loan rates and other financial terms that they otherwise wouldn’t have received, New York Attorney General Letitia James had claimed in filing suit against Trump.

Friday’s ruling also appoints Judge Barbara Jones to continue as an independent monitor of Trump’s businesses for at least three years. It orders the addition of an independent director of compliance at the Trump Organization, with Engoron ruling that this person will ensure sound financial and accounting practices.

“The more evidence there is of defendants’ ongoing propensity to engage in fraud, the more need for the Court to impose stricter injunctive relief. This is not the defendants’ first rodeo,” Engoron wrote in his verdict.

It’s possible Trump could appoint a trusted adviser to run his business during the three-year ban, noted John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert on corporate governance and white-collar crime.

In a statement, Trump, who is expected to appeal, denounced the verdict, calling it a complete and total sham.

“There were No Victims, No Damages, No Complaints. Only satisfied Banks and Insurance Companies (which made a ton of money), GREAT Financial Statements that didn’t even include the most valuable Asset – The TRUMP Brand,” Trump wrote in a statement to his supporters.