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Former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial begins Monday in New York. Trump and other defendants are accused of overstating the value of their real estate.
If convicted, Trump would have to pay $250 million in restitution and be banned from doing business in New York state.
It is one of four pending cases in New York alone that Trump will face as he seeks re-election in the 2024 presidential election.
Trump was sued for trading fraud
After a three-year investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in September 2022 alleging Trump and his administration engaged in fraudulent business practices. These include allegations that the value of Trump’s businesses and the market value of his real estate holdings in New York state and Florida were inflated to land deals and negotiations with banks and insurance companies.
The former president tried to delay the trial by suing the judge overseeing the trial. But a panel of New York appeals court judges rejected that move earlier last week, allowing the trial to proceed as planned.
A New York judge has already ruled that Trump committed fraud
On September 26, New York Judge Arthur Engron, who is overseeing the investigation, issued an order that Trump and his associates — including his children Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump — inflated the value of their properties.
While the judge ruled on some key elements of the case, there are six more claims that will be argued during the trial. These include allegations that Trump and his associates violated state law by falsifying documents, conspiring to falsify business records, issuing false business reports and financial statements, and committing insurance fraud.
New York’s attorney general is still seeking about $250 million in fines.
Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing
Trump has called the fraud allegations ridiculous and untrue, and has accused both the judge and the New York attorney general, both Democrats, of being politically motivated.
Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kiss, called the initial ruling upholding the fraud charges “outrageous and a miscarriage of justice.”
Trump and children on witness list
The trial was expected to last from October to December, but with a recent judge’s order, that may be shorter.
Both teams have a long list of witnesses, although not all will be called. However, former presidents Eric and Donald Trump Jr. appeared on both lists. The attorney general’s team also enlisted Ivanka Trump.
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