The New York judge overseeing the $250 million lawsuit against him said Thursday he will assign an independent monitor to oversee the real estate expansion and branding company that Trump has guided for decades.
New York State Judge Arthur Engoron handed down the ruling after saying the government had met its “heavy burden” in the matter. New York Attorney General Letitia James and her team of prosecutors accused the Trump Organization of repeatedly inflating asset prices to get favorable terms from banks, while depriving taxpayers of millions in tax revenue.
The move would limit Trump’s ability to do flashy business, offload assets or undertake corporate reorganizations, things Trump has been able to do relatively freely since taking over the company founded by his father, Fred Trump.
Among other things, it would require a two-week notice to the AG’s office when companies sell or transfer assets. James’ office lobbied for the monitor, in part citing recent moves by the company, including the incorporation of a new LLC in Delaware shortly before his office filed the lawsuit.
“Let’s be real here,” Engoron told Trump attorney Christopher Kise, a seasoned litigator who joined the president’s team. ‘They presented all these documents. What kind of evidence do you want? This is a preliminary injunction motion,’ he said in court.
Former President Donald Trump’s real estate empire will be overseen by an independent auditor amid New York’s $250 million lawsuit against him, Judge Arthur Engoron said. Trump days ago lashed out at Engoron, calling it “ruthless.” New York AG Letitia James accuses him of committing fraud
Kise called the order bordering on socialism. “The order itself really borders on nationalizing a private company,” he said, referring to Trump’s collection of golf courses and real estate trophies in Manhattan, South Florida and other areas.
The case could take a year or more, Politico reported, putting the auditor in charge during a critical year for former President Donald Trump, who has been closing in on a 2024 run for president.
While in the White House, Trump handed the reins over to his adult sons Donald Trump Jr. Eric, as well as former CFO Allen Weisselberg. Weisselberg pleaded guilty to tax fraud and is testifying for the prosecution in a separate Trump Organization criminal tax fraud trial.
Judge Engoron’s decision on an independent auditor came days after Trump last week criticized the judge. in an angry post on his Truth Social website, criticizing the judge who held him in contempt of court and fined him $110,000 for failing to give a deposition.
That failure came in James’s long investigation. Trump’s attack comes a week after a state administrative judge denied pressure from Trump to move the case to another courtroom.
“The only person who can be worse than weak on violent crimes AG Letitia ‘Peekaboo’ James, is the judge we have on your ridiculous and highly partisan case against me and my family,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.
“His name is Arthur Engoron, and he is a vicious, biased and petty ‘rubber stamp’ for the communist takeover of the great and prosperous American company I have built over a long period of years,” Trump wrote. He was appointed by my worst enemies. Case was going to go to a new judge, but he demands to keep it. I have no jury and no Civil Rights!
Engeron, who attended Columbia University and New York University School of Law, was elected to his seat on the states Supreme Court First Judicial District in 2015.
Engeron previously fined Trump $110,000 and forced him to testify in the case. When Trump finally accepted it, he repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment.
James sued Trump last month after a three-year investigation, accusing him of engaging in “numerous acts of fraud.”
In addition to trying to recover money she alleges Trump defrauded taxpayers, James is seeking to take away her ability to do business in the state for years.
Trump attacked State Attorney Letitia James again
Judge Arthur Engoron fined Trump $110,000 for failing to appear at a deposition
Prosecutors in the civil lawsuit accuse Trump and his three adult children of inflating property far beyond its actual valuations as they seek loans to expand their real estate empire. James accused Trump of inflating asset values by billions and using those faulty appraisals to secure favorable loans.
‘Claiming that you have money that you don’t have is not the ‘Art of Negotiation’. It is the art of theft,’ he said.
Trump’s legal team opposed Judge Engoron’s involvement in the case. They accuse James’ office of trying to ‘shop as a judge’ by citing Engoron’s experience with the case.
Late last month, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, filed a letter with a state administrative judge requesting that the case be moved to the court’s Commercial Division, which handles complex litigation, and out of Engoron.
Last week he criticized the government’s motion on the matter, calling it “nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to keep this case with Judge Engoron instead of transferring it to the Commercial Division where it belongs.”
Trump’s own team is accused of filing a lawsuit in Florida related to the FBI’s search for government documents at Mar-a-Lago in a court where Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump and confirmed weeks before leaving office. , sits on the bench. .