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Trump Fraud Ruling Could Devastate New York Economy

Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2024
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by Shane Harris
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AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

donald trump - business; walking at the white house

A New York court has officially ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $464.5 million as a result of a civil fraud trial where Trump was accused of inflating the value of parts of his real estate empire to secure favorable loans. The ruling is so egregious that many New York business leaders are reportedly considering fleeing the state, and even former Florida Governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush – long a top Trump critic – has come to the 45th president’s defense.

In a joint op-ed for The Wall Street Journal with tech entrepreneur Joe Lonsdale, Bush warned that the two recent rulings against Trump and Tesla founder Elon Musk call into question the integrity of the judicial system in the United States.

Along with the recent ruling against Trump, a judge in Delaware recently invalidated Musk’s $55.8 billion Tesla compensation package – a package which 80 percent of Tesla’s shareholders had agreed to. Musk and his companies have been subject to what appears to be politically motivated government harassment following his acquisition of Twitter (since renamed X) in 2022.

“Every American has a right to be critical of Mr. Trump’s politics,” Bush and Lonsdale wrote. “But equality before the law is precious, and these rulings represent a crisis not only for the soundness of our courts, but for the business environment that has allowed the U.S. to prosper.”

If the rulings stand, “blue-state politicians may have the satisfaction of ‘sticking it’ to Messrs. Trump and Musk, but the loss to those states will be significant,” the op-ed continues.

That already appears to be the case, as some business leaders have indicated they are shutting down operations in the Empire State.

As Fox Business reported shortly after the Trump ruling was handed down, “Some nationwide real estate investors, like Cardone Capital’s Grant Cardone, have started telling their teams to pack their bags and leave New York after the verdict in former President Trump’s fraud trial.”

Cardone told the network that when he heard about the verdict, “it was like, pencils down. Don’t touch it. Don’t go there.”

“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary has also announced that he will no longer be investing in “loser” New York, saying that he “can’t even understand or fathom the decision at all.” O’Leary advised other real estate investors to follow suit and told The New York Post that he had heard from several peers in the business world who intended to shun New York.

In a separate interview with NewsNation, O’Leary added that the Trump judgement came from a “rogue judge,” referring to Judge Arthur Engoron, who decided the case. As Rich Lowry wrote for National Review, Engoron’s decision “is the handiwork of an elected Democratic judge in a case brought by an elected Democratic prosecutor [New York Attorney General Letitia James] who pledged in her election campaign to pursue Trump.”

O’Leary and other real estate experts have likewise noted the absurdity of the case against Trump, which is based on claims that he inflated the actual value of his real estate holdings in order to secure more favorable loan terms for future projects. As O’Leary put it when discussing the case last year, “Every single real estate developer everywhere on earth does this. They always talk about their asset being worth a lot and the bank says no. That’s just the way it is.”

As Bush and Lonsdale also noted in the Journal, “Bankers from Deutsche Bank, which lent money to Mr. Trump, testified that they were satisfied with having done so, given they were paid back on time and with interest. They also testified that they were uncertain whether the alleged exaggerations would have affected the terms of the loans to Mr. Trump—a key part of Ms. James’s case.”

In other words, no one was actually financially harmed by Trump’s supposed misrepresentations of the value of his holdings, which is normally a requirement in any fraud case. If Trump is indeed required to pay the $464.5 million, every penny will go to the State of New York.

The ruling appears set to accelerate a now years-long trend of businesses fleeing the Empire State due to its onerous tax policies, incompetent liberal governance, and now outright hostility toward conservatives and the business community in general.

Although not directly related to the Trump case, Remington, the nation’s oldest gunmaker, announced just days before Engoron’s ruling that it would be moving all of its manufacturing to Georgia following years of anti-Second Amendment policies emanating from Albany. In total, between the end of 2019 and August of last year, New York lost 158 companies managing more than $1 trillion in assets according to a report from Bloomberg.

In each of these cases, as jobs and money were pouring out of New York, it was New York residents and businesses who suffered, while liberal lawmakers patted themselves on the back.

The same pattern is playing out in this latest verdict against Trump. Instead of targeting actual criminals victimizing New Yorkers, Attorney General Letitia James is expending taxpayer time and money to target Democrats’ top political enemy. Judge Engoron is doing the same.

Once again, while elected Democrats drown themselves in self-congratulation, it is the people of New York – and the health of the American judicial system as a whole – that are suffering.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on X @ShaneHarris513.

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Kim
Kim
4 months ago

When Ms. James declared she would be the gotcha-Trump candidate when running for office, didn’t that automatically call into question the objectivity of her court? This shows an obvious prejudice against Trump, so the case should have been dismissed. No one was harmed in Trump’s deals, so this is no more than a dirty disgusting personal vendetta against a successful businessman.

If I had a business, I would leave the state. You’d think NYC would have learned its lesson when AOC bad-mouthed Amazon, which decided to locate its big warehouse elsewhere. Business/the free marketplace is what makes this country function and people prosper. At another site, someone scolded me for making a profit in my small business. I don’t understand why so many people demonize the profit motive. Don’t I have the freedom to choose my own path? Are all of us supposed to work for non-profits and government offices or collect welfare all our lives?

This better change real soon or there will be an uprising like we haven’t seen in 248 years.

Mitch
Mitch
4 months ago

F New York. Let them drown in their own stupidity. Move out of there as fast as you can.

RCE57
RCE57
4 months ago

The Trump trial was a travesty that is destroying Due Process, right to a fail trial, and Article 8 of the Constitution.Engoron acted like the prosecutor, Judge, jury and executioner. Even worse was the original demand was $250 million but during closing statementd Ms James upped the ante to $355 million and this perverted judge gave it to her despite there being no incriminating evidence. Sadly, the Appealant Court is a stacked deck against Trump., so no justice will be served. One can only hope that SCOTUS has the fortitude to take the case and shoot it down and then Trump sues Ms James for Political Prosecution

SOD
SOD
4 months ago

The crazy thing about the almost $500m fine that Trump must pay in one month is almost 3x larger than his $160m 40 Wall Street loan from DB. Judge Engoron stated that Trump’s personal guarantee wasn’t financially strong enough to justify him getting the lower interest rate. However, he has the financial wherewithal to come up with almost $500m in one month. Can’t say it enough – BANANA REPUBLIC

Gail
Gail
4 months ago

What an absolute joke! Even looking at this judge was a joke, the two are something from a comic book. Americans need to wake up, our country is being destroyed by these extreme leftists trying to take over our country. This whole thing was a laughing matter at its worst.

jimm
jimm
4 months ago

Let’s hope the entire NY tax base moves to a friendlier state. There are many.

Jay Jay
Jay Jay
4 months ago

Judge Smirky and Letitia James should in jail. Their vendetta has violated the 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments.

Nancy Perrine
Nancy Perrine
4 months ago

Yes, New York is really good at shooting itself in the foot. Sad part is that the rest of the state will be penalized for this vendetta mistake of the Joker in NYC.

Dodie
Dodie
4 months ago

Thanks Obama (the mouthpiece)is running the White House with his thug staff – obama could not do it when he was in the White House he got senile joe and dementia to get all bought by George soros and judges, DA and others – payback a BITCH – ruining America – we need the RATS voted out!!

James Philips
James Philips
4 months ago

The operative statute, NY Executive Law 63 (12), deals with what it refers to as “recurring fraud”, but does not itself define “fraud”.
NY law generally – consistent with the laws of every other state and federal law – defines fraud as requiring:
a misrepresentation or omission of material fact – not opinion;
reasonable reliance by the person who was allegedly defrauded;
resulting damages to the person who was allegedly defrauded.
These three required elements are missing from this case.
An owner’s statement as to the value of his or her property is a statement of opinion – not fact.
Any lenders relied on the attorneys, accountants, surveyors and real estate appraisers employed on their behalf with respect to their opinions as to value – not on any opinion of a prospective borrower.
The lenders said that they were paid and wanted to do future business with the borrowers – no damages.
The amateurish and arbitrary order in this case was the fulfilment of a campaign promise by the AG to punish a political opponent. Unfortunately, this campaign promise was adopted by a foolish judge and political opponent of the defendants.
The order should be vacated immediately, so as to minimize the damages caused to defendants.

John
John
4 months ago

It’s time to allow the city and state of New York to suffer the consequences of this fraudulent trial. They are about to find out what judicial injustice will cost. Remington moved to Tennessee, not Georgia by the way

John David
John David
4 months ago

I will be voting for Trump come November.

Rebecca Houze
Rebecca Houze
4 months ago

Public trust has definitely been compromised. The purpose of government is to protect the safety and health of citizens so they are free to flourish. To redeem and restore people to healthy productive lives. Healthy relationships at all levels are marked by whole, healthy people who care about hearts enough to demonstrate mutual respect and value – NOT broken down, wounded by judgment people. These elected officials are behaving in hurtful and offensive ways. They have lost sight of the purpose of the rolls they were elected to fill, the good of ALL citizens, not just those of their political persuasion.

Patroit52
Patroit52
4 months ago

I hope and pray that every business that can leave NY does so. All these liberal cities deserve to go broke and rot.

Capn Bob
Capn Bob
4 months ago

The saddest part of the NYC left wing communist government is that they are so massive and pervasive they have ruined the entire state, which was otherwise a prosperous fair and good place to live. NYC power hungry politicians and cDeep state government jurists, as well as the governors office has been totally corrupted and the city is so massive the good people in the state are at the mercy of the idiots in charge there. Only solution is to get out, let the crooks all die off and then start over with a conservative government, similar to what Detroit has done on a smaller scale. Or else try to band together with some cooperative law firms and bring a huge class action suit against the NY government legal system.

David Millikan
David Millikan
4 months ago

Serves New York right.

Lisa
Lisa
4 months ago

It seems like to me the demonrats plans are backfiring in their ugly evil faces! Everything comes to the light. Let the dominos lay where they fall.

Mike P
Mike P
4 months ago

One company headquartered in New York City is ETSY. Refusing to buy from all of their associated retailers could hopefully provide some additional support from other small businesses nationwide

lothar
lothar
4 months ago

Of course the whole case is ridicoulous from A-Z !
First of there are no actual losses that anyone incurred , the “victims ” in this case are perceived and not real , second i have never seen a bank that relies on a borrowers statement about the value of a asset especially not real estate , they all usually rely on the public records by the local appraisal authorities or use their own appraisers

lothar
lothar
4 months ago

The sad truth is that democrats dont care

Rich
Rich
4 months ago

It’s time to divide our country into blue states and red states. Each getting an equal amount of government funding. When the blue states go so far down the rabbit hole that they can’t come back, either get the illegals to work for tax revenue or declare bankruptcy and let a red state take over. Couldn’t be any worst than what we have now.

lothar
lothar
4 months ago

let sleeping dogs lie ….. this is how the saying goes !
A lot of companies and investors never knew that the new york law that was used by james even existed and the potential ramifications for their business but now that trumps conviction drew attention to this law the cat is out of the bag !
Companies and especially big companies spend a lot of money on compliance , they either have in house legal departments staffed with lawyers specialized in a variety of areas of compliance or they have external firms that take care of things .
What those lawyers do 24/7 is to review new laws and regulations and check existing company policies and procedures for compliance with those laws and regulations , if needed the change/update existing policies or propose changes to the company to ensure compliance after all its all about risk mitigation .
The problem with this partticular law is that you cant be compliant to the law because the prosecutor can make up things as she goes and as long as she can find a grand jury willing to indicte and a judge willing to convict you can get in trouble its as easy as 1 2 3

Buck Michael
Buck Michael
4 months ago

Since 2020, the Census Bureau estimates, New York has lost 884,000 residents to other states. That’s because people like you keep voting for incompetent Democrats.
My state plus Florida and The West are booming as a result. You’re wiling to put up with the highest taxes in the country and high crime. You deserve the government you have.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
4 months ago

Full disclosure (and it pains me to say this): I live in New York. These same idiot democratic party politicians who are patting themselves on the back over what they did to Trump will be begging the other 49 states and the federal government to bail them out when they wind up on the verge of bankruptcy because they destroyed New York’s economy and drove businesses and people out of the state taking their hard-earned money and jobs with them.

David Millikan
David Millikan
4 months ago

Excellent article.

Annette
Annette
4 months ago

Thank you for writing the truth!

Jackie
Jackie
4 months ago

If the state of NY and NYC didn’t figure that into their “get Trump” agenda, then that’s on them!!! If NY and NYC go broke because of their obnoxious actions, well, I’ll be laughing!!! I realize that all of these DA’s who are going after Trump don’t have the law on their minds, they have the one man that they all hate for some reason and they want to use their putting Trump in jail or breaking him as a political campaign slogan!!! However, that idea just turns my stomach – that someone can ruin several people’s lives for the sake of their own political goals!!! That’s why I will never vote for any Democrat for anything, ever!!!! I do feel like this has been an egregious breach of “law enforcers” to perform their duties against Trump while allowing thousands of “REAL” criminals go free to re-offend!!! This is despicable behavior and is what I consider a witch hunt!!! They aren’t going after just Trump, they are going after all Republicans and conservatives and religious believers!!
If I were a business owner in NYC, I would be moving as soon as possible!!! This state and city are doomed to fail!!

G Griffith
G Griffith
4 months ago

Pres Trump told us years ago that what the dems are doing to him is really aimed at ALL of us – he’s just in the way. Businesses better get out because they will be next.

Zarkov
Zarkov
4 months ago

The problem with today’s Democrats is that they can’t see five minutes into the future. And they never review their policies to see if they’re working or not.

Marcosamine
Marcosamine
4 months ago

Trump is not my god and he is far from being anyone I would associate as a disciple of Jesus.
And yet, the only people I see getting away with anything is Joe, Hunter, Peter Storzk, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, Adam Shiff, and James Clapper.
i have seen people getting jail time for trespassing and parading though.

Jeane
Jeane
4 months ago

I can’t say I agree with the judgement, but call a PollyAnna. If Pres. Trump’s money is going into NYC’s coffers, it means he will be footing the bill for those illegals who are living in 5 Star hotels and getting loaded debit cards for food (because they don’t like the freebie food they were being served). He might be providing some relief for NYC taxpayers for a month or 2. Maybe it will turn New York purple and the city red.

Mimi
Mimi
4 months ago

Again, you have absolutely nothing but slander to back up your opinion.

corbin douthitt
corbin douthitt
4 months ago

The Left will do everything possible to destroy Trump and America. They will ruin the economy, end each others careers- sacrifice families and our Constitution- all to destroy Trump and America.

Gloria
Gloria
4 months ago

I hope so. NYC should be level to the ground. The good citizens should leave. The rest deal with your sins : Abortions, corruption in the courts, from bottom to the top.Corrupt and murderous baby killer governor. No integrity, no ethics. Just hate, greed and control

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

The verdict was a foregone conclusion. The judge should be removed from the bench and disbarred. Same with James. This happens in Communist countries, third world countries, and Banana Republics. Which type of government we will devolve into only time will tell. The far left will figure out another way to rig the election like they did four years ago.

jim torguson
jim torguson
4 months ago

They are just doing what the people that voted for Biden wanted them to do.
Exactly what the people that voted for Biden wanted.

albert a ballard
albert a ballard
4 months ago

This states politics is so diversified and corrupt I don’t believe it has any redeemable value to the people here. One of the highest paid state legislatures as well as the nepotism involved with the high impact positions of administrators it is no wonder it is so upside down.

JohnLeeHooker
JohnLeeHooker
4 months ago

I personally hope NOBODY leaves NY. They ALL need to be kept in one cage where we can keep an eye on them.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
4 months ago

Is it possible you could do something with that oputlaw judge. ??? If the Bank was satisfied, then you have no case. Kyle L.

Singleshot
Singleshot
4 months ago

“The ruling appears set to accelerate a now years-long trend of businesses fleeing the Empire State due to its onerous tax policies, incompetent liberal governance, and now outright hostility toward conservatives and the business community in general.”
You forgot their hatred of democracy, in trying to disenfranchise half of America’s voters.

Satah
Satah
4 months ago

Trump is definitely not a “god” to us (solid Americans). We just appreciate what he did at the border and with the economy- just as he promised us he would do.

Helen R Corey
Helen R Corey
4 months ago

The gangs that crossed border illegally (with Biden’s approval) is destroying the Big Apple with their assaults on citizens and businesses. Where did gangs get money to buy motorcycles? This crime is causing businesses to leave New York City.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago

Yeah, AARP fan you are so blind to see the truth to what’s going on. Open your eyes just once!

sdg
sdg
4 months ago

When are people going to wake up to these evil filthy Marxists that are destroying America including its largest city. The AG and the judge need to be taken out & destroyed, thrown out onto the streets with the rest of the criminals that are taking over.

Granny26
Granny26
4 months ago

All big businesses in NY should sell and move out of the state. Let it collapse…not good for anything anyway. Let the liberals have it.

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
4 months ago

Where is justice here? It’s the end of America if real justice is not reinstalled…

Jeri
Jeri
4 months ago

Choices have consequences, and some bad choices have been made.

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts
4 months ago

Smart people are fleeing that State.

Nobody’s Business
Nobody’s Business
4 months ago

Who cares if liberal states go broke screw em!

Jerry
Jerry
4 months ago

To the people of New York I say, you usually get what you vote for. Keep electing these left wing democrats and pretty soon you won’t have a state left worth living in.

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