Trump Faces Allegations of Business Fraud in New York Civil Trial
NEW YORK — The civil trial over alleged business fraud committed by Donald Trump and his company entered its second day on Tuesday. Trump, who is accused of misstating facts about his properties to gain financial benefits, appeared in court to observe the hearing in person.
The trial, which began on Monday in a Manhattan courthouse, is the result of a $250 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Trump and his organization. The lawsuit claims that Trump and his executives engaged in a brazen fraud by manipulating financial statements to their advantage.
In response, Trump’s legal team argued that there are multiple ways to evaluate the worth of assets and that no wrongdoing occurred. They emphasized that Trump’s properties are worth more than James has alleged.
Judge Arthur Engoron, overseeing the case, recently ordered that Trump be stripped of his business licenses and could potentially lose control of properties such as Trump Tower. The trial will determine the severity of penalties, with James seeking $250 million from Trump and his company.
The trial, expected to last for weeks or possibly months, may feature testimony from Trump himself. Despite not being required to attend the trial’s opening days, Trump chose to be present and used the opportunity to deliver extensive remarks to reporters, criticizing the case and individuals involved.
While Trump refrained from answering questions from reporters on Tuesday, he continued to express his discontent with James and reiterated his belief that his properties were undervalued.
Aside from the civil trial, Trump also faces criminal charges in four separate cases, with three trials scheduled to take place next year. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all cases and dismissed them as politically motivated.
Inside the courtroom, the proceedings focused on real estate valuations and the creation of financial statements. Testimony from Donald Bender, a longtime accountant for Trump’s company, shed light on these matters. Christopher Kise, an attorney for Trump, repeatedly refuted the accusations, claiming there was no illegality or fraud.
Judge Engoron’s comments on potentially excluding evidence related to older transactions was interpreted as a victory by Trump and his legal team. However, Engoron clarified that he would not be dismissing claims in the case, contrary to Trump’s interpretation.
As the trial continues, both sides will present their arguments and evidence to support their claims. The outcome of the trial will have significant implications for Trump and his company’s future.