Donald Trump: Former President sentenced to more than $350 million

Former US President Donald Trump has been sentenced to a fine of more than $350 million in the New York fraud trial. But the ruling also has an impact on his business activities in the US state.

Former US President Donald Trump has been sentenced to pay a fine of more than $350 million (around €325 million) in a fraud trial. Judge Arthur Engoron announced this on Friday in New York. In addition, the real estate entrepreneur Trump is not allowed to run a company in New York state for three years.

The civil case was about the future of the 77-year-old’s corporate empire. Prosecutors accused Trump, his sons and employees of manipulating the value of the Trump Organization for years in order to obtain cheaper loans and insurance contracts. Judge Engoron had already confirmed this before the trial. The proceedings were therefore primarily about determining possible penalties and other charges. The state of New York had demanded a penalty of $370 million in the case. During the trial, both Trump himself and several of his children were questioned. His sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump must each pay a $4 million fine.

Political beliefs and the venue of the trial, not the facts, determined the outcome of the trial, criticized Donald Trump Jr. after the decision on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. The metropolis of New York is considered liberal and usually votes predominantly Democratic.

“Their complete lack of remorse and insight is almost pathological,” Judge Engoron wrote, referring to Trump and his sons in the order. The verdict is a “devastating defeat” for Trump and the fine could “wipe out his entire cash reserve,” commented the New York Times.

Trump has denied wrongdoing. He spoke of a political case that the prosecutor, who was on the side of the Democratic Party, had brought against him as a Republican. After the verdict, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba spoke of a “politically motivated witch hunt” and announced that she would challenge the court decision.

Donald Trump was already in court in a separate case in New York on Thursday

There was no threat of prison time or direct impact on Trump’s bid for the presidency in the civil case. However, the ex-president is currently involved in a number of other proceedings. Only on Thursday was the start of a trial in connection with hush money payments to a porn star on March 25th confirmed by a judge. It would be the first criminal trial of a former president in US history. Three further criminal trials are being prepared, including on allegations of attempted election manipulation, and civil trials are also ongoing.

Just at the end of January, a jury in a second libel trial awarded 80-year-old author E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in compensation. Trump’s lawyers had announced that they wanted to appeal.

The 77-year-old Trump is considered the Republicans’ most promising candidate in the upcoming presidential election in November. He has often used his trials as election campaign events, which has already brought him into disputes with several judges.

Transparency note: This article has been updated several times.