A state Supreme Court judge's fraud verdict this week puts Donald J. Trump's extensive network of New York enterprises in significant peril and raises the possibility of an immediate unraveling, according to legal and business experts.
According to the summary judgment released on Tuesday, the former president and his associates, including sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, inflated corporate assets in a systematic manner over a period of years.
The ruling found that in one instance, they exaggerated by 300 percent the total square footage of a commercial property. They regarded rent-controlled apartments on par with those in buildings where the rent was determined by the landlord.
Trump's businesses have previously endured numerous significant legal setbacks.
Trump Agreed To Pay $25M In 2017 To Resolve Fraud Claims
Trump agreed to pay $25 million in 2017 while still in the White House to resolve fraud claims relating to a venture he branded "Trump University." He entered into a $2 million settlement agreement in 2019 to resolve allegations that he improperly used charitable donations to finance his political activities.
Last December, 17 allegations of criminal tax fraud and business record falsification against Trump's corporation were upheld as true.
The Legal Battle Is Not Over Yet
Although the judge's ruling on Tuesday does not put an end to the legal battle in this civil action, the experts whose opinions NPR sought out concurred that it presents Trump's businesses with an unprecedented level of risk.
That's because as part of this summary judgment, Engoron canceled certificates that allow several of Trump's firms to operate under New York state law.
Managing The Dissolution of The Limited Liability Companies
Additionally, he mandated the appointment of impartial receivers to "manage the dissolution" of the limited liability companies that are home to many of Trump's most valuable assets.
These properties include Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street, also called the Trump Building.
Coffey asserts that there is still a great deal of uncertainty over what will take place next. A fraud trial is scheduled to begin next week in Engoron's Manhattan courtroom, and he has hinted that he may elaborate on his decision at a subsequent hearing.