Great Neck’s Judge Engoron slaps Trump with $355M in fines

Great Neck’s Judge Engoron slaps Trump with $355M in fines
The criminal trial against the West Islip man accused of stealing $8.4 million in school revenue from the Schechter School of Long Island began Monday. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, a Great Neck resident, ruled that former President Donald Trump, two sons, business associates and his company pay more than $355 million in penalties and temporarily banned him from doing business in New York.

The New York State civil fraud case was based on Trump’s inflating assets by submitting false financial data on properties such as the value of his Trump Tower home, golf courses and his Mar-a-Lago club in financial statements.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office brought the case against the former president, said with pre-judgment interest the total amount to be paid is more than $450 million. This number, she said, will increase every day until the full judgment is paid.

The ruling’s business ban prevents Trump from serving as an officer or director of a New York corporation or legal entity – including his company the Trump Organization – for three years. His two older sons got a similar ruling but for the duration of two years.

Trump and his company are also banned from applying for bank loans over the three-year duration.

In addition, Engoron ruled that the independent monitor who was appointed continues to oversee his company, with the addition of an independent director of compliance. This was implemented because Engoron said Trump and his executives had a lack of remorse upon the fraud coming to light.

Trump said that he is planning to appeal the ruling.

The ex-president bashed Engoron’s ruling from his Mar-a-Lago home Friday night, calling him a “crooked New York State judge.” He also attacked James, calling her “corrupt” to reporters.

Trump criticized the fine imposed on him by Engoron, saying it was for “having built a perfect company.”

But Trump’s criticism of Engoron began long before his ruling. He imposed a gag order on Trump during the trial after he made several derogatory comments about his law clerk and the judge himself.

Trump’s comments led to death threats against the clerk and Engoron, and the judge’s Great Neck home was swatted in January just hours before a trial court appearance was scheduled.

James called the ruling a “tremendous victory” in applying the laws to all individuals.

“Donald Trump is finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating, and staggering fraud,” James said in a statement. “Because no matter how big, rich, or powerful you think you are, no one is above the law.”

With Trump as the current frontrunner in the race to be the Republican nominee in the November presidential election, he called the trial a “witchhunt” perpetuated by President Joeseph Biden ahead of the election.

While the New York State trial has ended, Trump’s legal problems continue.

The former president’s first criminal trial is set to begin March 25 in Manhattan, where his alleged crimes of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels will be.  He faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to allegedly silence Daniels – a felony indictment.

Trump faces three more criminal trials – two connected to his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and one for keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Long despite repeated requests from Washington to return them.

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