Donald Trump vows appeal as New York court slaps $354.9m penalties | Pro Hub of News

Former US President Donald Trump has been ordered by New York Judge Justice Arthur Engoron to pay a substantial $354.9 million in penalties for fraudulent overstatements of his net worth.

The ruling comes after a contentious three-month trial in Manhattan, adding to the legal hurdles that could affect Trump’s real estate ventures.

Engoron, in a strongly worded decision, also imposed a three-year ban on Trump serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation, criticizing Trump and other defendants for their lack of contrition and remorse.

The lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accused Trump of inflating his net worth by as much as $3.6 billion annually over a decade to secure favorable loan terms.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, vowed to appeal the verdict, while Trump himself took to social media to denounce the decision as a “Complete and Total SHAM,” alleging “ELECTION INTERFERENCE” and a “WITCH HUNT.”

Engoron’s ruling also includes a prohibition on Trump and his companies from seeking loans from New York-chartered financial institutions for three years, potentially impacting Trump’s access to credit from major US banks. The judge cited past legal issues, including the Trump Organization’s 2022 conviction for criminal tax fraud, as grounds 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 the finances of any New York company.

Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the ruling, emphasizing the need for 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 ventures, his standing in the Republican presidential race remains strong. Despite 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 months ahead.