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16 Feb, 2024 23:09

Trump banned from running his own businesses

The former US president has been barred from operating his companies in New York and ordered to pay $354 million in penalties
Trump banned from running his own businesses

A New York judge has temporarily barred former US President Donald Trump from running his businesses in the state and ordered him and his organization to pay $354 million in fraud damages for submitting false business reports.

Friday’s civil court ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron includes a three-year ban on Trump serving as an officer or director of any New York business, including the Trump Organization. Trump and his company were also barred from applying for any bank loans in New York. The monetary damages were imposed on the ex-president and other Trump Organization executives, including his two eldest sons.

Trump and his business associates were accused of using exaggerated asset valuations to obtain favorable terms on loans and insurance policies. Engoron acknowledged in his ruling that all of the loans in question were paid back in full and on time, but he argued that the absence of a victim “does not extinguish the harm that false statements inflict on the marketplace.” He added, “The next group of lenders to receive bogus statements might not be so lucky.”

The judge also ordered the appointment of an independent director to monitor compliance with his ruling by the Trump Organization. Engoron claimed that Trump and his associates showed a “pathological” lack of remorse and would likely continue to operate fraudulently unless they were “judicially restrained.”

The civil fraud ruling marks the latest legal setback for Trump at a time when he’s polling as the leading Republican candidate for president. He faces four separate criminal indictments, as well as multiple civil cases. Just last month, he was ordered by a New York jury to pay $83 million in damages to writer E. Jean Carroll, who claimed that he defamed her when he denied her allegation that he sexually assaulted her in a department store nearly 30 years ago.

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, called Engoron’s ruling a “manifest injustice” and said she’s confident that it will be overturned on appeal. The former president claimed the case stemmed from an effort by President Joe Biden to block his political rival. “This election interference and tyrannical abuse of power by a crooked judge and crooked attorney general cannot be tolerated.”