Donald Trump on trial for inflating his real estate assets, the first in a long series

Donald Trump on trial for inflating his real estate assets, the first in a long series

2023-10-02 09:45:25

It is with a story of real estate assets that Donald Trump opens the ball of his legal marathon. This Monday, the trial of the Republican favorite for the 2024 US presidential election and two of his children opens in New York. They are accused of having colossally inflated their real estate assets for years. The 77-year-old former president announced Sunday evening that he planned to be present Monday for the opening arguments before the Supreme Court of the State of New York, where he is called as a witness.

“I am going to court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and my reputation,” said the ex-real estate mogul in a message posted late in the evening on the Truth Social platform, in which he describes the prosecutor General of New York as “corrupt” and the judge in charge of the case as “unbalanced”. “This whole thing is a sham!!!! “, he also wrote.

Preview of upcoming trials

Donald Trump cannot be sentenced to prison in this case, but the trial will offer a foretaste of the legal events likely to disrupt his campaign for the Republican nomination. Criminally charged in four different cases, which have so far not damaged his popularity with the Republican base, Donald Trump must appear from March 4 before a federal court in Washington. He is accused of trying to reverse the result of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

He will then have an appointment with the New York State justice system for accounting fraud, then in Florida for his negligent management of confidential documents after his departure from the presidency. The trial which opens on Monday suddenly took on a considerable stake last week when Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over it, ruled that “repeated fraud” had been established and that the New York State Attorney General’s Office had It has already been demonstrated that Donald Trump and his group’s staff had “overvalued” their assets between $812 million and $2.2 billion from 2014 to 2021.

Withdrawal of business licenses

As a result, this judge ordered the withdrawal of business licenses for the State of New York from Donald Trump and two of his children, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, as well as the confiscation of companies targeted by the complaint, so that they can be entrusted to liquidators. If applied, these sanctions would deal “a major blow to Donald Trump’s ability to do business in New York State,” said Will Thomas, professor of business law at the University of Michigan.

Donald Trump, who made his fortune in real estate and casinos in the 1980s and had promised to run the United States like his companies, would then lose control over several of his group’s flagships, such as the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue. from Manhattan. These properties are at the heart of prosecutor Letitia James’ accusations: the surface area of ​​the businessman’s triplex in Trump Tower would have been tripled and the building at 40 Wall Street overvalued by $200 to $300 million in declarations. financial.

Insults towards judges

The luxury Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and several Trump Organization golf courses also appear in the file. The prosecutor is also demanding recognition of other financial law violations and a fine of $250 million. Donald Trump has always brushed aside the accusations and multiplies the attacks against the prosecutor James, an elected African-American Democrat whom he called “racist”, and Judge Engoron, whom he describes as “deranged”.

On his Truth Social network, he argued that the lending banks had been reimbursed, “totally, with interest, without defaults and without victims”. The defense also intends to fight head to head on asset valuations. The trial promises to be technical and dozens of witnesses are expected, including three of the Trump children, Eric, Donald Jr and Ivanka, initially targeted by the complaint but ultimately not prosecuted, or the former financial director of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg , who served time in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud in another case targeting the group.

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