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New York Appeals court allows Trump, sons to continue running business, denies request to delay payment

A New York Appeals Court judge has denied former President Trump’s request to delay payment of the $464 million owed to the state after Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, but said he will temporarily allow the 2024 frontrunner and his sons to continue running their business during the appeals process.

A New York Appeals Court judge has denied former President Trump’s request to delay payment of the $464 million owed to the state after Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, but said he will temporarily allow the 2024 frontrunner and his sons to continue running their business during the appeals process.

Trump and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump were barred earlier this month from operating their business in New York for a range of two to three years. Trump was also found liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in the civil fraud case brought against him, his family and the Trump Organization by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

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The former president is appealing the ruling.

On Wednesday, though, a New York Appeals Court judge ruled that the former president must post a bond for the full amount of the judgment and the independent director of compliance will be appointed.   

The judge will temporarily allow Trump and his sons to continue running the business as they appeal the decision.

The filing is a temporary order before the motion goes before the full Appeals Court. Letitia James’ brief to the panel is due March 11, and Trump’s replies are due March 18.

The ruling comes after New York Judge Arthur Engoron handed down his decision earlier in February after a months-long trial beginning in October and stemming from James’ lawsuit alleging the former president inflated his assets and committed fraud. 

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Engoron ruled that Trump and defendants were liable for “persistent and repeated fraud,” “falsifying business records,” “issuing false financial statements,” “conspiracy to falsify false financial statements,” “insurance fraud,” and “conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.” 

The judge also barred Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or legal entity in New York for two years. 

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Engoron also “permanently” barred defendants Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and the former corporate controller Jeffrey McConney from “serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State,” and as a director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for three years. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the lawsuit accusing Trump and the Trump Organization of fraudulent business practices. The court proceedings were contentious, with Engoron repeatedly placing Trump under a partial gag order to prevent him from criticizing court staff.

James had sought $370 million, plus 9% interest in penalties from Trump. Any awarded funds would go to the New York State Treasury, unless directed elsewhere by the state comptroller.

Trump dismissed the trial as a “witch hunt” throughout the process, accusing both Engoron and James of serving as political operatives for Democrats. Trump’s legal team also repeatedly blasted the lack of a jury in the trial.

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“There was never an option to choose a jury trial,” a Trump spokesperson told Fox News Digital last month. “It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

Trump and his family denied any wrongdoing, with the former president saying his assets had been undervalued. Trump’s legal team insisted that his financial statements had disclaimers, and made it clear to banks that they should conduct their own assessments.

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Trump has said his financial statements were “perfect,” and stressed that the bank loans were repaid and “as happy as can be.”  

Throughout the trial, Trump attorneys brought witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank top executives, who testified the banks sought additional business from Trump, whom they viewed as a “whale of a client.”

Trump’s defense also brought in expert witnesses, including New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who reviewed the Trump financial statements at issue in the case and said he found no evidence of accounting fraud.

Bartov testified last month that Trump’s financial statements did not violate accounting principles, and he suggested that anything problematic — like a huge year-to-year leap in the estimated value of his Trump Tower penthouse — was simply an error.

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“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified. Trump’s financial statements, he said, “were not materially misstated.”

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