New York AG seeks sanctions that could hurt Trump’s business

Sep 21, 2022, 4:46 PM | Updated: 4:57 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump and his company could face a range of stiff penalties if a court sides with New York’s attorney general in a sprawling fraud lawsuit filed against the former president Wednesday.

For now, the Republican isn’t at risk of going to jail. The lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James seeks civil penalties only for what she said was a decade of illicit attempts by Trump to mislead lenders, lower his insurance rates or reduce his taxes.

Trump’s legal team contends that his financial practices were normal in the real estate industry and that James is waging an unfair political vendetta. His company has noted that some of the lenders that James alleges might have been deceived by Trump’s financial statements profited richly from the loans they gave to him.

Here’s a look at some of the punishments the Democrat is seeking:

MONETARY DAMAGES

In her lawsuit, James calculated that Trump and his company got around $250 million in benefits from what she called “persistent fraudulent practices,” many involving giving financial statements to banks and other business associates that exaggerated the value of the Republican’s assets. James wants Trump to forfeit that amount, but the actual dollar figure would be determined at trial.

BANNED IN NEW YORK

The suit asks that Trump, his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and his daughter Ivanka Trump, be permanently banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or business entity registered and licensed in the state. This would be a blow to Trump, whose company is based in New York, but wouldn’t necessarily bar him from starting new companies in other states. James also wants Trump and the Trump Organization banned for five years from applying for a loan from any financial institution registered in New York, or entering into any New York state commercial real estate acquisitions for five years. A suspension like that might be crippling, given how many major banks do business in New York.

OVERSIGHT

James wants an independent monitor appointed to oversee regulatory compliance, financial reporting and other matters at the Trump Organization for a period of no less than five years. She also wants a requirement that the Trump Organization prepare an audited statement showing Trump’s net worth, to be distributed to all people or entities that previously received financial statements from the Trump Organization that James says were fraudulent.

LEADERSHIP CHANGES

The trustees of the Donald Trump Revocable Trust — the entity he set up to oversee his company when he became president — would be replaced with new, independent trustees. Two top Trump Organization executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney, would be barred from financially controlling any New York corporation in the future.

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New York AG seeks sanctions that could hurt Trump’s business