A New York judge has found Donald Trump and his adult sons liable for fraud, saying the Trumps provided false financial statements for roughly a decade.
Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling came days before the civil case involving the New York attorney general’s office and the former president was set to go to trial.
Engoron granted Attorney General Letitia James’ motion for summary judgment, finding Trump, his sons, and others “to be liable as a matter of law for persistent violations” of New York state law. He found the financial statements the Trumps provided to lenders and insurers for about a decade to be false and said they repeatedly engaged in fraud.
In the order, the judge rejected Trump’s deposition testimony in which the former president said that the financial statements were not fraudulent because they contained disclaimers. Trump said the statements contained a “worthless clause” in them warning lenders and others that they shouldn’t be relied on.
Tuesday, the judge said that “the defendants’ reliance on these ‘worthless’ disclaimers is worthless.”
James has alleged that Trump, three of his children, his companies and his business executives defrauded lenders, insurers and other entities.
In the lawsuit, James claims that Trump reaped a “substantial” financial benefit by putting forward faulty information in his financial statements, including $150 million in the form of favorable interest rates he obtained from the banks that the attorney general said his team misled.
Engoron said the remaining issues for trial are determining liability on other claims in the lawsuit, as well as how much Trump and the other defendants should pay.
This story is breaking and will be updated.