Home World Donald Trump vows appeal as New York court slaps $354.9m penalties

Donald Trump vows appeal as New York court slaps $354.9m penalties

Donald Trump vows appeal as New York court slaps $354.9m penalties


Donald Trump has been handed a sentence with penalties, along with accrued interest, surpassing the $450 million mark

Former President Donald Trump gestures on the day of a court hearing in New York on February 15, 2024. — Reuters

A New York judge, Justice Arthur Engoron, has ruled that former US President Donald Trump must pay a staggering $354.9 million in penalties for fraudulent overstatements of his net worth. 

The ruling follows a contentious three-month trial in Manhattan, adding to the legal challenges that could impact Trump’s real estate empire.

Engoron, in a sharply worded decision, also imposed a three-year ban on Donald Trump serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation. The judge criticised Trump and other defendants, saying, “Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.” 

The ruling stems from a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing Donald Trump of inflating his net worth by up to $3.6 billion annually over a decade to secure favorable loan terms.

In response to the verdict, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba vowed to appeal, and in characteristic fashion, Trump took to social media, calling the decision a “Complete and Total SHAM,” alleging “ELECTION INTERFERENCE” and a “WITCH HUNT.”

Engoron’s decision also includes a prohibition on Donald Trump and his companies from applying for loans from New York-chartered financial institutions for three years, potentially impacting Trump’s ability to secure credit from major US banks. The judge cited past legal issues, including the Trump Organization’s 2022 conviction for criminal tax fraud, as a basis for the severe penalties.

The financial repercussions extend to Trump’s adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric, who were ordered to pay $4 million each. Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, previously convicted of tax fraud, faces a $1 million penalty and a lifetime ban from managing any New York company’s finances.

New York Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the ruling, emphasising accountability for Trump’s “lying, cheating, and staggering fraud.” The total penalties, including interest, exceed $450 million.

While this legal setback could impact Trump’s real estate empire, his dominance in the Republican presidential race remains unscathed. Despite the potential financial strain, Trump leads in the race for the Republican nomination, setting the stage for a high-stakes political and legal battle in the coming months.


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