Trump loses the latest bid to dodge NY’s $250 million Fraud Lawsuit
- A Manhattan judge rejected Trump’s latest attempt in New York to avoid fraud accusations.
- The judge criticised Trump’s “frivolous” arguments and criticized Ivanka Trump’s claim of ignorance in a deposition.
- Letitia James’ $250 Million Fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company remains on track for an Oct. 2, 20,23 trial.
A Manhattan judge rejected Donald Trump’s latest attack on Friday. He called it “borderline frivolous” and refused to dismiss New York’s $250 Million fraud lawsuit. The lawsuit is seeking to force Trump’s business empire out of New York.
In a nine-page decisionAttorney General Letitia Jam’s lawsuit against the New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron was kept on track for an October trial by this judge.
He didn’t sanction Trump’s lawyers. as he’d threatened earlier in the week, for filing what he called repeatedly rejected legal arguments — including the claim that James’ three-year probe of his business and resulting lawsuit is a “witch hunt.”
As early as her 2018 campaign for attorney general, James, a Democrat, had made it clear she disagreed with the then-president’s policies, and had promised to investigate and pursue fraud charges against his Manhattan-headquartered golf resort and real estate company, the Trump Organization.
Trump’s latest “witch hunt” argument — raised as part of a motion seeking the lawsuit’s dismissal, is invalid, Engoron wrote Friday, because it has already failed before his court, in state appellate court, and before a federal judge last year, as the former president raised it again and again to fight the attorney general’s investigatory subpoenas.
Engoron denied the motion for dismissal, rejecting Trump’s repeated rejections that James does not have legal standing or the capacity to sue and that the attorney General’s claims are too old.
“Reading these arguments was, in the words of Lawrence Peter (“Yogi”) Berra’s baseball sage, ‘Deja vu all the way again,'” the judge wrote.
The judge also rejected as “wholly unconvincing” Trump’s argument that disclaimers attached to the allegedly fraudulent financial statements sent to potential lenders — essentially warning them not to rely on his math — absolve the former president of fraud.
Finally, the judge took aim at Ivanka Trump who was vice president of Trump Organization and is named as a defendant by James. Her brothers Eric Trump Jr. and Donald Trump Jr. are vice presidents at their father’s company.
Engoron suggested that Ivanka Trump had been less truthful in her court-mandated deposition last year before James’ legal staff, rejecting Ivanka’s separate motion to dismiss the suit.
Ivanka Trump claimed she should be exonerated from the lawsuit as she had stopped working in 2017 for her father’s business. She was not accused personally of falsifying any company records or knowing about it.
The evidence provided by the attorney general links Ivanka to years of interactions with Deutsche Bank, Engoron’s father’s favorite lender. Engoron rebutted in his decision. These interactions include overseeing the loan compliance and financing for the Trump National Doral Golf Course in Miami, and the Old Post Office Washington, DC.
Engoron wrote that “The record shows that Ms. Trump actively participated in securing the loans, rather than passively receiving emails.”
“In her deposition, Ms. Trump testified she does not understand statements about financial condition and that they do not include all assets or liabilities,” wrote the judge.
He wrote, “This is despite her communications about SFCs with Deutsche Bank.”
Ivanka Trump claimed that she could not be held legally responsible in the lawsuit against the attorney general. Engoron, however, stated that the opposite is true.
The judge wrote, “The record demonstrates Ms. Trump earned more than $10,000,000 in profits from the sale and acquisition of the Old Post Office.”
He wrote that if the request for proposals for the Old Post Office was based upon fraudulent statements about Trump’s worth, then the lawsuit could lead to her having to forfeit some profits.
James stated that Donald Trump’s efforts to evade law enforcement have been rejected yet again.
“We sued Mr. Trump, because we found that Trump engaged in years-long financial fraud to enrich himself. Today’s decision demonstrates that Donald Trump isn’t above the law and must face justice for his actions.
Alina Habba, Trump attorney said that they look forward to receiving a thorough and proper review of their appeal arguments. Another Trump family did no immediate respond to a request for comment.
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