February 21, 2024

By Jennifer Peltz | Related Press

NEW YORK — New York state legal professionals elevated their request for penalties Friday in Donald Trump’s civil enterprise fraud trial, whereas his protection argued that 10-plus weeks of testimony produced no proof of fraudulent intentions or ill-gotten good points.

Each side highlighted their takeaways from the trial in court docket filings forward of closing arguments, set for Thursday. Trump is anticipated to attend, although plans might change.

It will likely be the ultimate probability for state and protection legal professionals to make their case in a lawsuit that’s consequential for the main Republican presidential hopeful even whereas he fights 4 prison instances in varied courts.

The New York civil case might find yourself barring him from doing enterprise within the state the place he constructed his actual property empire, and state Legal professional Basic Letitia James is now looking for over $370 million in penalties. The determine emerged in her workplace’s submitting Friday; the state had sought $250 million earlier than the trial however had nudged the quantity to over $300 million in the course of the continuing.

James’ lawsuit accuses Trump, his firm and key executives of deceiving banks and insurers by vastly inflating his internet price. James argues that Trump acquired engaging charges on loans and insurance coverage due to the wealth he claimed on his private “statements of monetary situation,” or “SFCs” for brief.

The go well with alleges that the paperwork gave exorbitant values for golf programs, lodges, and extra, together with Trump’s former house in his namesake tower in New York and his present house on the Mar-a-Lago membership in Palm Seaside, Florida.

“The conclusion that defendants supposed to defraud when getting ready and certifying Trump’s SFCs is inescapable,” Kevin Wallace, a lawyer in James’ workplace, wrote in a submitting Friday. “The myriad misleading schemes they employed to inflate asset values and conceal details have been so outrageous that they belie harmless rationalization.”

The defendants, together with his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, deny any wrongdoing.

The previous president asserts that his monetary statements really got here in billions of {dollars} low, and that any overestimations — corresponding to valuing his Trump Tower penthouse at almost 3 times its precise measurement — have been mere errors and made no distinction within the total image of his fortune.

He additionally says the paperwork are primarily legally bulletproof as a result of they mentioned the numbers weren’t audited, amongst different caveats. Recipients understood them as merely beginning factors for their very own analyses, the protection says.

None of his lenders testified that they wouldn’t have made the loans or would have charged extra curiosity if his monetary statements had proven completely different numbers, protection legal professionals wrote in a submitting Friday for Trump, his Trump Group and a few executives.

The state “adduced no factual proof from any witness that the good points have been ill-gotten,” attorneys Michael Madaio and Christopher Kise wrote. Nor, they mentioned, was there proof that insurers have been ripped off.

Individually, protection legal professionals argued that claims towards Government Vice Presidents Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. ought to be dismissed as a result of they by no means had “something greater than a peripheral information or involvement within the creation, preparation, or use of” their father’s monetary statements.

The sons relied on the work of different Trump Group executives and an outdoor accounting agency that ready these paperwork, attorneys Clifford Robert and Michael Farina mentioned, echoing the scions’ personal testimony.

Their father additionally took the stand and made a stream of feedback within the courthouse hallway. He painted the case as a political maneuver by James, Decide Arthur Engoron and different Democrats, saying they’re abusing the authorized system to attempt to lower off his possibilities of successful again the White Home this yr.