Trump sentenced to 350 million in fine and ban on entrepreneurial activity

In a civil case for financial fraud, former US President Donald Trump was sentenced in a New York court on Friday to pay a fine of more than $350 million (around €325 million). According to Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling, Trump is also not allowed to run a company in the US state of New York for three years. Trump announced that he would appeal the verdict.

In the case, Trump and his sons Donald Junior and Eric were accused of having artificially inflated the assets of the family real estate empire by billions of dollars over the years in order to get better conditions for loans and insurance. Eric and Donald Trump Junior were also found liable and ordered to pay $4 million each.

The defendants were “unable to admit their mistakes,” said Judge Engoron in his verdict. The “complete lack of insight and remorse” of Donald Trump and his two sons is “almost morbid.”

The attorney general in charge of the case, Letitia James, called the decision a “tremendous victory for this state, this nation and for everyone who believes we all have to play by the same rules – even former presidents.”

Since this was a civil and not a criminal case, Trump faces no prison sentence in this case. However, Trump had already declared before the verdict that a business ban in New York state would be tantamount to a “corporate death penalty” for him.

Trump, who is expected to be the Republican Party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election, announced shortly after the verdict that he would appeal the decision. He repeated his often-made accusation that incumbent President Joe Biden was behind the legal proceedings and wanted to use them to “damage him in the election.”

Before announcing his intention to appeal, Trump called the verdict a “complete and total fraud” on the online network he founded, Truth Social. He described Judge Engoron as “corrupt” and the responsible Attorney General James as “completely corrupt”.

Trump has numerous other problems with the judiciary. Among other things, he is accused in further criminal proceedings.

Two indictments concern the Republican’s attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and thus stay in power. Last month, Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million in a civil defamation lawsuit against columnist E. Jean Carroll.