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Judge Engoron fines ex-president over $350 million

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump walks outside the courtroom on the day of a court hearing on charges of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election, in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., February 15, 2024.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

A New York judge Friday ordered Donald Trump to pay more than $350 million in total penalties as part of his ruling in the former president’s civil business fraud trial.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron also barred Trump from running a business in New York for three years.

He also faces a three-year ban on applying for loans from financial institutions registered with the state.

“New York means business in combating business fraud,” Engoron wrote in the 92-page ruling.

The judge delivered the final decision from the trial, which was held without a jury.

“President Trump will of course appeal and remains confident the Appellate Division will ultimately correct the innumerable and catastrophic errors made by a trial court untethered to the law or to reality,” Trump’s attorney Chris Kise said in a statement following the ruling.

The appeals process could take several years to resolve.

The explosive trial stemmed from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit accusing Trump, his two adult sons, his company and top executives of fraudulently inflating Trump’s assets to boost his stated net worth and obtain various financial perks.

James had asked Engoron to ban Trump for life from New York’s real estate industry, and for $370 million in disgorgement, a term for returning ill-gotten gains.

Instead, Engoron fined Trump a total of $354,868,768.

The judge also ordered Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who took over the Trump Organization after their father became president in 2017, to pay fines of more than $4 million each.

Eric and Donald Jr. also face two-year bans from serving as officers or directors of any New York corporation or legal entity.

Co-defendants Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, and the company’s comptroller, Jeffrey McConney, are permanently banned from controlling the finances of a New York business, Engoron ruled.

But the judge vacated his own prior directive to cancel the defendants’ business certificates, meaning he is no longer pursuing what some legal experts described as a “corporate death penalty” for the Trump Organization.

The decision is only the latest court-ordered punishment imposed on Trump, who is running for president while dealing with numerous criminal and civil lawsuits. Last month, a jury in a separate civil case in New York federal court ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll when he responded to her claim that he had raped her in the mid-1990s.

Trump is the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, setting up a likely rematch with President Joe Biden, who beat him in 2020.

Lawyers for Trump…

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