Judge Rules Trump’s Business Engaged in Fraudulent Acts: Legal Analysis Raises Questions on Legitimacy

NEW YORK, USA – A recent ruling by Judge Engoron in a civil case against former President Donald Trump and his business entities has sparked a debate over the legitimacy of the charges. The case, brought by the New York Attorney General, alleges that Trump engaged in fraudulent activities in obtaining loans, leading to his businesses reaping substantial profits. In response to this, legal scholar Steve Calabresi argues that the case is baseless, claiming that Trump’s actions constituted a “victimless crime.” However, understanding the New York law at the center of the case is crucial in evaluating its legitimacy.

Under New York law, businesses are required to register with the state, effectively obtaining a license to operate. One of the Attorney General’s statutory duties is to take action against businesses that engage in fraudulent or illegal activities. Such actions seek injunctive relief, directing restitution and damages, and potentially cancelling business certificates.

Critics of the case argue that since the loans were eventually repaid, there was no harm done to the banks. They contend that exaggerating asset values is a common practice in the New York real estate market. However, proponents of the case point out that it is not the actual harm caused that matters, but rather the established risk of harm. The state’s revocation of a driver’s license for drunk driving serves as an apt analogy. Even if a drunk driver makes it home safely, the state can still revoke their license due to the inherent danger posed by their actions.

In a similar vein, Judge Engoron’s ruling suggests that Trump’s repeated lies and fraudulent activities severely compromised his credibility and created an unfair advantage in business dealings. While the loans were ultimately repaid, the profits reaped were a direct result of the deceit. Acting as chancellor in equity, Judge Engoron imposed various remedies, including requiring Trump and his businesses to surrender their ill-gotten gains and prohibiting Trump from running a New York business for three years.

Critics of this ruling, including Calabresi, argue that this law has never been invoked in such a manner. However, a search on legal databases reveals that the New York Attorney General has brought similar enforcement actions under this law against other businesses. These actions have resulted in the imposition of various equitable remedies, highlighting the broader application of the law.

While there is a debate surrounding the legitimacy of the case and the specific rulings by Judge Engoron, it is important to consider the New York law at the heart of the matter. The state’s duty to investigate and take action against businesses engaged in fraudulent or illegal activities is central to maintaining a fair and transparent business environment. Whether this case will have lasting implications or be subject to review remains to be seen. However, understanding the legal nuances and precedents will be vital in evaluating its long-term significance.