AP report: Trump businesses could be ‘dissolved’ in unprecedented fashion

by WorldTribune Staff, January 30, 2024

Even the Associated Press acknowledges that the New York Attorney General’s case against former President Donald Trump is unusual.

The fraud case in New York is unprecedented in that the former president may see his businesses “dissolved” despite the absence of “obvious victims and major losses,” The Associated Press reported on Monday.

Donald Trump has referred to New York AG Letitia James as a ‘racist’ and ‘incompetent,’ and Judge Art Engoron as a ‘psycho.’

New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that Trump provided 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,” the report said.

In September 2023, State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said that Trump had committed fraud, his business certificates should be revoked, and that someone should manage the “dissolution” of his businesses.

Engoron is expected to be issuing a ruling in the case by Jan. 31.

In its analysis of 150 cases which took place in a 70-year period, the AP reported finding only 12 other cases that resulted in the same penalty that would end Trump’s business ventures in New York.

Of those, Trump’s case stands alone, the report said, in that nobody was a victim or faced losses as a result of the claimed fraud.

“This is a basically a death penalty for a business,” the report cited Columbia University law professor Eric Talley as saying. “Is he getting his just desserts because of the fraud, or because people don’t like him?”

James had vowed while campaigning for New York AG that going after Trump would be a top priority.

AP’s said that its review of nearly 150 reported cases since New York’s “repeated fraud” statute was passed in 1956 “showed that nearly every previous time a company was taken away, victims and losses were key factors. Customers had lost money or bought defective products or never received services ordered, leaving them cheated and angry.”

The businesses were taken over “almost always as a last resort to stop a fraud in progress and protect potential victims,” the AP added.

The AP report continued:

In Trump’s case, his company stopped sending exaggerated financial figures about his net worth to Deutsche Bank and others at least two years ago, but a court-appointed monitor noted that was only after he was sued and that other financial documents continued to contain errors and misrepresentations.

And though the 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.

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