A study by the Associated Press found that Trump’s real estate business is the only large company that has been faced with closure under NY’s anti-fraud law without any clear victims or loss.
The AP looked at nearly 150 legal cases from the past 70 years and found that dissolution has only been used a dozen times, and never in a situation like Trump’s. Judge Arthur Engoron said in his September ruling that Trump lied to banks and insurance corporations by inflating his net worth and overvaluing his assets. This ruling is now being appealed, but Judge Engoron said that Trump’s business certificates should be taken away and his companies should be given to “independent receivers” to dissolve.
When Democratic New York AG Letitia James sued Trump in 2022, she said that he had been committing years of financial theft to get money while building his business.
The AP says that Engoron will rule this week and explain what he meant by “dissolution” and decide what punishment Trump will receive.
Eric Talley, a law professor at Columbia University, told the AP, “This is pretty much the death penalty for a business.”
“Is he getting this because he lied or because people don’t like him?”
During the trial, bank officials said it was “not unusual” for them to change a client’s financial records. Emails and other papers presented by Trump’s lawyers showed the bank wanted to get him as a client. In their closing arguments, Trump’s lawyers said that James, the attorney general of New York, did not show any “real-world impact” from Trump’s financial statements.
The AP found that people were hurt when businesses were shut down in the past. For example, a breast cancer nonprofit spent all of its donations on directors instead of research and care for survivors, and a mental health facility ignored its patients while taking millions of dollars in public funds.
AP stated that “the integrity of the educational process” was seen as the victim of the one small business that went out of business in 1972 without any victims. That business wrote term papers for college students.
According to the AP, James did not fight for the sale of property during her closing arguments. Instead, she asked that Trump be forced to pay $370 million, which was $120 million more than what she had originally asked for.
“Who was hurt here? According to the AP, William Thomas, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said, “We haven’t seen a long list of victims.”