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US ex-president Trump imposed with hefty fines in New York business fraud case

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-17 09:32

New York Attorney General Letitia James holds a press conference following a ruling against former US President Donald Trump ordering him to pay $354.9 million and barring him from doing business in New York State for three years, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, Feb 16, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK -- US former president Donald Trump and his business organizations were ordered to pay as much as $355 million of penalties on Friday in a business fraud case lodged by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

In order to borrow more money and at lower rates, Donald Trump and the entities he controls submitted blatantly false financial data to the accountants, resulting in fraudulent financial statements, said a decision and order by Arthur F. Engoron, a judge of New York County Supreme Court.

"Defendants' fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility or to impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences" at trial, said Engoron in summary of a 92-page document.

The judge continued the appointment of an independent monitor, ordered the installation of an independent director of compliance and limited defendants' right to conduct business in New York for a few years.

In particular, Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and Jeffrey McConney, former Trump Organization controller, were banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for three years.

Weisselberg and McConney were permanently banned from serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity in the state.

Moreover, Weisselberg as well as Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump, the sons of Donald Trump, were fined $1 million, $4.01 million and $4.01 million, respectively.

Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. criticized the judgment and Donald Trump's lawyer Chris Kise also indicated a plan to appeal.

Letitia James is scheduled to deliver remarks on the judgment later Friday.

The trial for the case began on Oct 2, 2023 and concluded on Jan 11, 2024 with Donald Trump appearing in the court multiple times.

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