Trump fined $354.9m and banned from running businesses in New York for three years

US News

Former US president Donald Trump has been fined $354.9m after a civil fraud trial in New York.

The judge also banned Trump from running businesses in New York for three years. His sons, Eric and Donald Jr, received similar bans for two years.

Trump and the Trump Organisation were also banned from applying for loans from any New York financial institution for three years.

Judge Arthur Engoron had already ruled the former president inflated his wealth on financial statements given to banks, insurers and other institutions to make deals and secure loans.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James sought $370m (£294m) and a ban on Trump and other defendants from doing business in the state in the civil fraud case.

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Trump: ‘They don’t like me running’

Such a huge penalty could leave Trump’s real estate empire in tatters – an image that helped lead Trump to fame and the White House in 2016.

James’ office estimated Trump exaggerated his wealth by as much as $3.6bn.

State lawyers claimed Trump used the inflated numbers to get lower insurance premiums and favourable loan terms, saving at least $168m on interest alone.

Trump denied wrongdoing and his lawyers have said they will appeal.

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. New York Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
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Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach was central to the case. Pic: AP

FILE ...Trump Tower is shown in this photo, in New York, March 21, 2023. New York Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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Trump Tower is one of the ex-president’s many properties. Pic: AP

During the trial, Trump launched a six-minute diatribe from the witness stand and was ordered not to disparage court staff – but defied the judge and was fined $15,000 (£11,800) for twice violating the order.

The Republican presidential front-runner testified in November that his financial statements actually understated his net worth and that banks did their own research and were happy with his business.

During closing arguments in January this year, he claimed the case was a “fraud on me”.

Judge Arthur Engoron attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 11, 2024. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Pool
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Judge Arthur Engoron at the closing arguments of the trial. Pic Reuters

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Donald Trump at the trial in New York

Before the trial, Judge Engoron ruled on James’ main claim, finding that Trump’s financial statements were fraudulent.

As punishment, the judge ordered some of his companies should be removed from his control and dissolved, but due to an appeal, another court has put that on hold.

Because it is a civil case, rather than criminal, there is no threat of Trump being jailed.

However, four of the investigations into the former president are on criminal grounds.

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