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Court orders Donald Trump to pay nearly $355 million in civil fraud trial

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2015 file photo, Donald Trump, host of the television series "The Celebrity Apprentice," mugs for photographers at the NBC 2015 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. NBC on Monday, June 29, 2015 said that it is ending its business relationship with Trump, now a Republican presidential candidate, because of comments he made about immigrants during the announcement of his campaign. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

A judge has ordered Donald Trump, former United States president, to pay nearly $354.9 million in a ruling in the New York civil fraud case.

Trump is also barred from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in the state for three years.

The other defendants include Trump’s eldest sons, their companies, and some of the former president’s organisation executives.

In a 92-page ruling on Friday, Arthur Engoron, presiding judge, said “this Court finds that defendants are likely to continue their fraudulent ways unless the Court grants significant injunctive relief”.
Engoron described Trump and his associates as unremorseful, saying “their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological”.
“This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin,” the judge said tartly,” he added.
“Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff.

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“Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways. Instead, they adopt a ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ posture that the evidence belies.”
Engoron also barred Trump from applying for loans from any financial institution registered with the New York Department of Financial Services for three years.

Donald Jr. and Eric, the former president’s sons, were each ordered to pay $4 million for their personal profits from the fraud.

Allen Weisselberg, former Trump organisation’s chief financial officer, was fined $1 million.
The lawsuit brought by Letitia James, the city’s attorney general, alleged that Trump and his co-defendants committed repeated fraud in inflating assets on their financial statements to deceive bankers into giving them better loan terms.
According to the lawsuit, Trump inflated his net worth by as much as $3.6 billion in three separate years between 2011 and 2021.

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Trump’s attorney said he plans to appeal the decision.
The trial in this case has served as a precursor to the four criminal trials the former president faces this year as he tries to make a comeback for the White House.

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