Judge authorizes Observer to monitor Donald Trump’s dealings

A New York judge will allow an independent monitor to oversee Donald Trump’s business interests and has restricted the Trump Organization’s assets pending a trial over widespread fraud allegations.

“Given [the] Given the defendants’ proven propensity to engage in ongoing fraud, failure to issue such an injunction could result in extreme harm to the people of New York,” Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in an order published Thursday in a New York State Court in Manhattan.

The New York Attorney General’s office, which in September filed a wide-ranging case against the Trump Organization and members of the Trump family, previously told the court that the Trump companies were attempting to move funds out of state jurisdiction.

On the day the case was brought, the Trump Organization formed another company called Trump Organization II based in Delaware, attorneys for New York Attorney General Letitia James told the court.

“Today’s decision will ensure that Donald Trump and his companies cannot continue the extensive fraud that we have uncovered,” James said after the verdict. “No number of lawsuits, delaying tactics, or threats will stop our pursuit of justice.”

Lawyers for Trump filed a lawsuit in Florida late Wednesday, alleging that the New York Attorney General’s office was involved in an “uncompromising crusade” that unlawfully crossed state lines.

However, James’ office said the move showed Trump was “trying to protect from scrutiny the key documents governing the structure of his business conglomerate and the ownership of his business assets,” arguing that that made the need for an injunction all the more make more urgent.

Trump’s lawyers claimed James, a Democrat, was involved in a “politically motivated” attempt to destroy the former president’s businesses. In court filings, they argued the injunction “would effectively allow NYAG to nationalize the Trump business empire.”

The attorney general’s lawsuit addresses allegations that Trump companies added billions of dollars to the value of their assets and the former president’s family over a decade in order to obtain cheap financing from banks.

If the attorney general’s case succeeds, the court could permanently ban Donald Trump and his children from working as an officer or director at a New York company and bar the former president from buying real estate in the state. Trump companies could be forced to repay up to $250 million.

https://www.ft.com/content/82847425-33a1-4802-ae73-b2a3251ec7c5 Judge authorizes Observer to monitor Donald Trump’s dealings

Adam Bradshaw

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