Letitia James Pursues $370M From Trump In Civil Case

In a recent court filing on Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James is pushing for a $370 million penalty against Donald Trump and his company, surpassing the initially sought $250 million in the state’s civil fraud lawsuit filed in 2022.

The rise to $370 million considers the earnings of the ex-president from transactions related to the Old Post Office hotel lease in Washington and the Ferry Point golf course in New York, as outlined in the court filing. In these dealings, the company is accused of misleading both the federal and New York City governments to secure advantageous leases and management privileges.

This Friday’s filing marks the first instance where Letitia James has publicly mentioned a precisely increased penalty compared to what was initially stated in the original lawsuit. The company stands accused of deliberately providing false information to lenders and insurance companies, allegedly inflating Trump’s net worth by as much as $2.2 billion annually from 2011 to 2021 in order to secure more favorable terms in business agreements.

Additionally, Letitia James is seeking the appointment of an independent monitor to supervise the activities of the Trump Organization. Furthermore, she proposes a prohibition on Trump, his adult sons, and two former executives, preventing them from engaging in the industry and serving as corporate executives in New York.

James’ office wrote, “The conclusion that defendants intended to defraud when preparing and certifying Trump’s annual financial statements is inescapable; the myriad deceptive schemes they employed to inflate asset values and conceal facts were so outrageous that they belie innocent explanation.”

During the trial, which started in early October, representatives from the attorney general’s office stated that they were seeking a penalty of at least $250 million. Letitia James’s legal team aimed to prove that lenders and insurance companies were cheated out of significant profits and that the Trump Organization made millions on deals obtained through deception.

Trump and his defense team have consistently refuted any allegations of fraud or illegal conduct, asserting that there was no wrongdoing. They contend that Trump did not overstate the value of his real estate assets, attributing any discrepancies to the unique nature of these assets, some of which were purportedly worth more than what was reported in his annual financial statements.

Christopher Kise, the attorney representing Trump, called Friday’s development “unconscionable, unsupported by the evidence, untethered from reality and unconstitutionally excessive.”

The case is civil, so if New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron finds crimes related to falsifying records were committed, no defendant would face prison time.

Closing statements in the trial are set for Thursday. Justice Engoron has stated that he aims to render a ruling by the end of January.