Letitia James Recommends Barring Trump From NY Real Estate Industry, Pay $370 Million

A final ruling is expected in the civil fraud case in January, where a judge has already found that Trump has engaged in financial fraud for decades.
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Former President Donald Trump should be barred from the New York real estate industry and be forced to pay $370 million in ill-gotten gains as a result of decades of “outrageous” financial fraud, New York Attorney General Letitia James argued in a brief filed on Friday.

Trump stood trial in 2023 on civil charges that he, his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump and two other associates engaged in decades of financial fraud by inflating his net worth to obtain more favorable loans to operate in the real estate industry. New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Sept. 26 that Trump had committed fraud before the trial began.

Closing arguments in the trial are set to be held on Jan. 11. The brief filed by James lays out the punishment she is seeking for Trump, his sons and their associates once the trial is over.

Trump should be permanently barred from working in the state of New York’s real estate industry, while his sons should face five-year bans on “participating in the real estate industry in New York State or serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity,” according to the brief.

In addition, Trump and his corporate entities should face a disgorgement of $370 million to recoup the money he saved in interest payments thanks to his fraudulent activity. Previously, James had recommended the court fine Trump at least $250 million. Trump is estimated to be worth $3.1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The recommendation of a $370 million disgorgement comes from an estimate that Trump saved $168 million in interest payments by committing fraud in his application for a loan to purchase 40 Wall Street, $139 million in profits for selling the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., $60 million in profits from the sale of the Ferry Point golf club and $2.5 million in bonuses paid to accomplices.

A ban on participating in the New York real estate industry would be extremely damaging to Trump’s business empire. The court could also strip Trump of four of his signature properties in New York City, including Trump Tower, which would significantly lower his net worth.

Engoron is expected to issue a final ruling by the end of January. Trump is also expected to appeal any decision that would delay any penalty from taking effect.

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