Trump civil fraud case: Judge fines Trump $354 million, says frauds 'shock the conscience'

The former president was found to have defrauded lenders.

Former President Donald Trump has been fined $354.8 million plus approximately $100 million in interest in a civil fraud lawsuit that could alter the personal fortune and real estate empire that helped propel him to the White House. In the decision, Judge Arthur Engoron excoriated Trump, saying the president's credibility was "severely compromised," that the frauds "shock the conscience" and that Trump and his co-defendants showed a "complete lack of contrition and remorse" that he said "borders on pathological."

Engoron also hit Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump with $4 million fines and barred all three from helming New York companies for years. New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump and his adult sons of engaging in a decade-long scheme in which they used "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" to inflate Trump's net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. The former president has denied all wrongdoing and has said he will appeal.


Summary of penalties

Donald Trump and his adult sons were hit with millions in fines in the civil fraud trial and barred for years from being officers in New York companies. The judge said the frauds "shock the conscience."

Donald Trump: $354 million fine + approx. $100 million in interest
+ barred for 3 years from serving as officer of NY company
Donald Trump Jr.: $4 million fine
+ barred for 2 years from serving as officer of NY company
Eric Trump: $4 million fine
+ barred for 2 years from serving as officer of NY company
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg: $1 million fine
+ barred for 3 years from serving as officer of NY company
+ barred for life from financial management role in NY company
Former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney:
+ barred for 3 years from serving as officer of NY company
+ barred for life from financial management role in NY company


Trump, NY AG James trade barbs following decision

Former President Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James, in separate media appearances, addressed the ruling Friday evening, trading barbs while reacting to the judgment.

Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump said he had to pay a fine for "having built a perfect company." Accusing both James and Judge Arthur Engoron of being politically motivated, Trump denied committing any fraud and said he plans to appeal.

Meanwhile, in New York, James lauded the ruling as a victory for all Americans and the principles of equal justice under the law -- saying "former presidents are no exception."

"The scale and scope of Donald Trump's fraud is staggering -- and so, too, is his ego and his belief that the rules don't apply to him," she said.

James also heralded Judge Engoron's penalties as effective remedies to "ensure this fraud cannot continue."


Interest will add about $100M to Trump's fine

Based on Friday's decision, former President Trump and his co-defendants will likely owe $463.9 million based on their initial fine and the prejudgment interest imposed by the court, according to a representative for the New York attorney general.

Trump himself will likely owe $453.5 million, between his $354.86 million fine and $98.6 million in interest.

The amount of interest owed by the defendants is set to increase every day they do not pay the fines.


NY AG calls ruling a 'tremendous victory'

New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office brought the civil fraud case against Donald Trump, described the ruling as a "tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules -- even former presidents."

“When powerful people cheat to get better loans, it comes at the expense of honest and hardworking people," James said in a statement. "Everyday Americans cannot lie to a bank to get a mortgage to buy a home, and if they did, our government would throw the book at them. There simply cannot be different rules for different people."

The former president is "finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating, and staggering fraud," she said.



Decision constrains Trump Organization in New York

In addition to the fines imposed on Donald Trump and his co-defendants, the judge's decision leaves the Trump Organization in a constrained position to continue operating their New York-based businesses.

While Judge Engoron backtracked on his September summary judgment ruling -- vacating the part of his order that canceled their business certificates -- Donald Trump and his sons are temporarily unable to lead their namesake company. Trump faces a three-year ban on serving as the leader of a New York company, and his sons face two-year bans.

An independent monitor will continue to oversee the company's finances for at least three years, and the company needs to install a director of compliance.

Regarding the combined $364 million owed by the defendants, experts who ABC News spoke with believe it is unlikely any of them foot the bill immediately; instead, they can cover the fine with a bond while they appeal.


Trump, after testifying, fined $10,000 for violating gag order

Judge Engoron fined former President Trump $10,000 for violating a limited gag order after deciding that Trump referred disparagingly to his law clerk during a statement in the hallway.

Trump briefly took the witness stand, raising his hand and stating his name, "Donald John Trump, New York."

Engoron asked Trump, "Did you say, 'This judge is a very partisan judge with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside of him?'"

Trump responded "Yes," but insisted he was referring to Michael Cohen, who was seated next to the judge in the witness chair.

"You sure you didn't mean the person on the other side?" Engoron asked, referring to his law clerk, whom Trump previously disparaged in a social media post that the judge ordered him to take down as part of the limited gag order he imposed earlier in the trial.

"Yes, I'm sure," Trump answered.

Trump conceded his social media post was "maybe unfair" but he added he thinks "she's very unfair."

Engoron decided Trump's hallway statement must have referred to his clerk because "there's a barrier" between the bench and Cohen, and he suggested Trump would have called Cohen by name.

The defense immediately balked at the fine.

"I just don't think there's any clear record here," defense attorney Chris Kise said.


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