A judge has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud, thereby jeopardizing the activities of the Trump organization in the State of New York.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by “massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing,” the AP reported.

The Independent’s White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg reported that the ruling may imply “Donald Trump committed fraud and has ordered the cancellation of all of his New York business certificates and the dissolution of the Trump Organization.”

Days before a non-jury trial in Attorney General Letitia James’ case is scheduled to begin, the ruling is the greatest challenge yet to Trump’s carefully cultivated image as a successful and cunning real estate tycoon who has transitioned into a political juggernaut.

Beyond merely boasting about his wealth, Trump, his business, and senior staff frequently lied about it on his annual financial statements, Engoron ruled, benefiting from things like better loan conditions and cheaper insurance rates.

The judge rejected Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on the financial records freed him of any wrongdoing, saying that the techniques went too far and were illegal.

James had to sue Trump and demand sanctions because Manhattan prosecutors had looked into filing a criminal prosecution over the same behavior but decided against doing so.


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