New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling for a $370 million fine against former President Donald Trump and his companies and a lifetime ban on him and two of his former company executives from the real estate industry in the state.
Attorneys from James' office requested the punishment in post-trial motions filed Friday in the Trump fraud case. They said that Trump owes $168 million of interest allegedly saved through fraud; $152 million from the sale of the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., the site of one of Trump's hotels; $60 million through the transfer of the Ferry Point Golf Course contract; and $2.5 million from severance agreements for former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Howard Weisselberg and ex-Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney.
James also called for lifetime bans for Trump, Weisselberg and McConney from participation in the real estate industry as well as from serving as officers or directors in New York corporations or entities. The attorney general also asked for five-year bans for Trump's eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, with the same conditions.
The summary judgment in the case found the former president, his company and top executives liable for repeated and persistent fraud in preparing and certifying as true Trump’s statements of financial condition, which were falsely inflated by between $812 million and $2.2 billion.
In a separate motion filed Friday, the defense attorneys said the evidence doesn’t support a finding that he intended to defraud, and said the same applies to Weisselberg and McConney. The lawyers argued that attorney general’s office has failed to prove insurance fraud and has not demonstrated any real-world impact, and banks did their own due diligence on the financial statements.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case, calling the law the lawsuit a partisan “witch hunt,” and has vowed to appeal the judge's ruling.
In a post in all capital letters Friday on Truth Social, Trump said, "I did nothing wrong, my financial statements are great, & very conservative, the exact opposite of what the highly political & totally corrupt New York state attorney general says."
"This case should never have been brought, should be in the commercial division (the rigged judge would not let go of it!), & I should never have been gagged," Trump continued. "Now the corrupt A.G. wants $370,000,000 as businesses flee New York. They should pay me. This is prosecutorial misconduct — a DOJ witch hunt!”
James’ office said that Trump and the others committed illegal acts with the intention to defraud and reaped millions in ill-gotten gains. The sum she is seeking is well over the $250 million that she had initially estimated in 2022 that Trump and his business should pay in damages.
The trial began in early October, with testimony in the case ending last month. Both sides are scheduled to present closing arguments on Jan. 11, and Judge Arthur Engoron has said he expects to issue a written decision with his findings in the following weeks.
Engoron said in a ruling on Dec. 18 that he wasn't convinced by the Trump team's arguments that the financial statements weren't inflated and that such valuations are subjective.
The business fraud lawsuit is just one of several major cases facing Trump. The former president has also been charged with federal offenses related to alleged election subversion in Washington, D.C., and the alleged mishandling of classified documents in Florida and with state election interference charges in Fulton County, Georgia.