Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has been found guilty of committing N2.8 trillion ($3.6bn) fraud.
Donald Trump and his family business were found liable for fraud on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, by a New York state court in Manhattan.
Justice Arthur Engoron of the court ruled that “repeatedly” misrepresented his wealth – by up to $3.6bn (£3bn) – to banks and insurers.
The decision resolves a key claim made by New York’s attorney general in her civil lawsuit against the former president.
“The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business,” the judge wrote.
A trial to resolve the claims in the suit is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Attorney General Letitia James sued Mr Trump last September, accusing him, his two adult sons and the Trump Organization of lying about his net worth and asset values between 2011 and 2021.
Ms James claimed they issued false business records and financial statements in order to get better terms on bank loans and pay less tax.
She earlier asked Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York state court in Manhattan to rule on her claims, saying that finding certain facts to be beyond dispute would speed up the trial.
Mr Trump has previously dismissed the case in New York as another political “witch hunt” brought by a prosecutor biased against him.
As part of Tuesday’s decision, the judge ordered the Trump Organization to cancel its New York business certificates and also rejected a request by the Trump legal team to toss the case.
But Judge Engoron’s summary judgment was scathing in its criticism of the former real estate mogul and his company.
“In defendants’ world, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air,” he wrote.
“That is a fantasy world, not the real world.”