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US: New York judge orders Donald Trump to pay nearly USD 355 million in civil fraud case

First Published: 17th February, 2024 8:25 IST

Former US President Donald Trump has called the case a "fraud on me" and a "political witch hunt"

New York judge on Friday ordered former US President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization to pay a fine of nearly USD 355 million in a civil fraud case.

According to the 90-page judgement, Trump has been barred from acting as a company director in New York state for three years. His sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, have also asked to pay a fine of USD 4 million each. They have been barred from serving as directors for two years.

Donald Trump and his two adult sons had already been found liable for massively increasing the value of their properties by hundreds of millions of dollars in a trial that ended in January. However, Trump and his sons have denied any wrongdoing.

Former US President Donald Trump has called the case a “fraud on me” and a “political witch hunt.” Judge Arthur Engoron‘s decision came just weeks after closing arguments in the case following a months-long trial in 2023.

The attorney general’s office had requested the judge to ask Donald Trump to pay USD 370 million, which is USD 16 million less than ordered by the judge.

Former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was ordered to pay USD 1 million. Weisselberg was also blocked from New York business for three years, according to the order.

Furthermore, Weisselberg and former controller Jeffrey McConney were banned for life from serving “in the financial control function” of any New York corporation or business entity.

The judge said the independent monitor he installed to oversee Trump’s business would continue functioning for three years, apart from the installation of an “Independent Director of Compliance.”

However, the judge reversed the decision ahead of the trial that ordered the cancellation of the defendants’ business certificates. Although the judge stated that the order could be renewed.

In a statement to The Hill, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba termed the ruling a “manifest injustice” and the culmination of a “multi-year, politically fueled witch hunt that was designed to ‘take down Donald Trump.'”

The trial of the case lasted for more than two months, with testimony — sometimes tempestuous from 40 witnesses, including the former US President himself, top Trump Organization executives and Trump’s adult children, according to The Hill report.

Trump’s financial standing could face a major blow following the USD 354.8 million judgement, and another USD 83.3 million judgement against him for defaming writer E Jean Carroll after he denied her accusation that he sexually assaulted her decades earlier. (ANI)

Also Read: Indian-origin man, 41, dies days after being assaulted in US

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