Former US President Donald Trump could see his real estate empire crumble after a judge ruled that he committed fraud.
His properties will likely be liquidated and sold off at auction after a judge found he had committed fraud, New York’s former assistant attorney general has said.
Tristan Snell has spoken to MSNBC after a court found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth to close deals and secure loans.
“The worst outcome that could have come from this case has already been handed down, and that is for the corporate licenses to be canceled,” Snell told MSNBC.
“The properties are likely going to be liquidated. The properties are probably going to be sold at auction. That’s probably what is going to happen. We don’t know that for sure, but that is probably where this is headed. So [Trump] is already really, really in trouble.”
Judge Arthur Engoron ordered that some of the former American President’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York. An independent monitor will now oversee Trump Organization operations.
The civil case, filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accuses Trump and his business of exaggerating his wealth in financial statements.
State lawyers have sought to show that Trump and others at his company had full control over the preparation of the financial statements. On Tuesday, state accountant Donald Bender testified that the Trump Organization didn’t always supply all the information needed to produce the documents.
Trump vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
Engoron, however, has already ruled that Trump engaged in fraud by inflating the values of prized assets including Trump Tower.
If Trump’s appeal is dismissed and the ruling is upheld, it is likely to lead to Trump losing control of Trump Tower and some of his other properties.
The trial is now set to determine how much Trump might owe in penalties, with James seeking $250 million and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.