AP: Dissolving Trump's Business Empire Would Break From 70 Years of NY Civil Cases Under Anti-Fraud Law

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Jan. 29, 2024

Even the Associated Press is now pushing back against Judge Arthur Engoron's insane purported plan to have former President Donald Trump's New York business empire "dissolved."

From The AP, "Dissolving Trumpís business empire would stand apart in history of NY fraud law":
Within days, Donald Trump could potentially have his sprawling real estate business empire ordered "dissolved" for repeated misrepresentations on financial statements to lenders, adding him to a short list of scam marketers, con artists and others who have been hit with the ultimate punishment for violating New York's powerful anti-fraud law.

An Associated Press analysis of nearly 70 years of civil cases under the law showed that such a penalty has only been imposed a dozen previous times, and Trump's case stands apart in a significant way: It's the only big business found that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.

[...] And though [Deutsche Bank] offered Trump lower interest rates because he had agreed to personally guarantee the loans with his own money, it's not clear how much better the rates were because of the inflated figures. The bank never complained, and it's unclear how much it lost, if anything. Bank officials called to testify couldn't say for sure if Trump's personal statement of worth had any impact on the rates.

[...] Notably, New York's anti-fraud statute, known as Executive Law 63(12), is clear that a finding of fraud does not require intent to deceive or that anyone actually gets duped or loses money. The attorney general must only show "repeated fraudulent or illegal acts."

But the AP analysis, based on a search of reported 63(12) cases in legal databases LexisNexis and Westlaw, found that victims and losses were factors when it came to deciding whether to take over a business.

A breast cancer nonprofit was shut down a dozen years ago, for instance, for using nearly all its $9 million in donations to pay for director salaries, perks and other expenses, instead of funding free mammograms, research and help for survivors.

A private equity firm faking big investment success was closed down after stealing millions of dollars from thousands of investors.

A mental health facility was shuttered for looting $4 million from public funds while neglecting patients.

[...] "Those who want to see Donald Trump suffer by any means necessary," [University of Michigan law professor William Thomas] said, "risk ignoring the very commitment to a rule of law that they accuse him of flouting."
I assure you, they couldn't care less about upholding the rule of law.

Trump has now been subject to eight years of vindictive lawfare with dozens of his closest allies thrown in prison and thousands of his supporters locked up over Jan 6th.



New York Attorney General Letitia James ran on locking Trump up and promised to "use every area of the law" to investigate Trump, his family and "anyone in his orbit" and she's been following through on her promise out in the open with zero ethical concerns.

James, Engoron, Fani Willis, et al. want to see Trump punished and they don't care if they have to stretch the law to its limits (and beyond) to make it happen.

[Header image by Liam Enea, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED]

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