Judge finds Trump Guilty of fraud
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron found that Trump and his company deceived insurers, bankers and others by heavily inflating his assets and his net worth in paperwork he used to make deals and secure financing.
Engoron also found that Trump, his company and its key executives had repeatedly lied about his wealth on his annual financial statements in order to take advantage of favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums.
Those actions violated the law, the judge said, dismissing Trump's argument that a disclaimer on the statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.
The decision comes just days before the Oct. 2 start of a trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil lawsuit against the former president.
The ruling, in a part of the case known as summary judgment, settles the primary matter in James' lawsuit, leaving six others for Engoron's consideration in the non-jury trial, which he has said could last into December, according to the Associated Press.
Attorneys for Trump had previously asked the judge to throw out the case on the grounds that James wasn't legally allowed to file the suit because there isn't any evidence of public harm due to Trump's actions, but the lawyers' request was denied.
James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban from carrying out any future business in the state against the former president.