Trump ordered to pay $350 million for fraudulent business practices in New York

Ag3ma

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So sad. :cry:

Firstly, the judge decided (even before the trial, which was merely to determine damages) that Trump broke the law. Assuming the Appeals court agrees, Trump broke the law and so a penalty is reasonable. Secondly, Trump has a long history of fraud, deceit and so on, so morally, my sympathies are strictly limited.

However, on the other hand, I do have one slightly unsettled feeling about this. Trump's claim that this was a "victimless crime" is not negligible. Ultimately, the banks knew he was full of shit and made their own estimates, lent at a rate both parties were happy with, so Trump got his loans and his creditors got repaid. Therefore from that perspective, what was the big problem here? $350 million and being barred from NY business is one hell of a punishment. (Or is it something to do with tax evasion?)

Anyway, it is what it is.

He also has to bond the verdict in order to even appeal and according to his financial statements he doesn't have the cash.
Can he put up assets in lieu? (Presumably, not ones he's allowed to value himself.)

I am however sure he can mail out a funding request to his supporters for donations. Might not get $350 million, but potentially enough to make a dent in it.
 

tstorm823

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I cannot speak to the fairness of the particular penalty here, I don't know the rules, but skimming through the decision, the crime is pretty well substantiated.

@Agema, it looks like they took those assessments that the banks were happy with, and then they leveraged against them with entities who didn't have the same flexibility as the banks do to bend the rules, including the City of New York itself. Starting page 14 in the decision, it talks about valuation of a potential project on land in relation to a conservation easement, which would be an agreement with the government to leave land undeveloped in return for environment-related tax benefits. By getting assessments that overvalued potential houses built on that land, they could then claim their easement is giving up on that potential property value when the tax write-offs are calculated, effectively withholding legitimately due taxes from the government, which ultimately hurts the other taxpayers. I don't know if they actually went through with that easement, I didn't read that thoroughly, but I'm not that worried about it being victimless crimes in at least that case.

I am predictably annoyed that Donald Trump the Democratic donor got to defraud New York and its citizens without question for decades, where Donald Trump the Republican candidate gets the book thrown at him, but that's no reason for me to deny the fraud took place.
 

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Ag3ma

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No worries, this bloke's wife is on it.

It's going well.
How much is Grant Cardone donating? He looks like he's not short a bob or two. I'm always wary of rich people asking us to donate on their behalf, I'd like to know that they are giving up a substantial chunk of their money, too.
 

Chimpzy

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How much is Grant Cardone donating? He looks like he's not short a bob or two. I'm always wary of rich people asking us to donate on their behalf, I'd like to know that they are giving up a substantial chunk of their money, too.
My assumption is none, and that the proceeds of the gofundme will be donated to Cardone
 
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Ag3ma

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@Agema, it looks like they took those assessments that the banks were happy with, and then they leveraged against them with entities who didn't have the same flexibility as the banks do to bend the rules, including the City of New York itself. Starting page 14 in the decision, it talks about valuation of a potential project on land in relation to a conservation easement, which would be an agreement with the government to leave land undeveloped in return for environment-related tax benefits. By getting assessments that overvalued potential houses built on that land, they could then claim their easement is giving up on that potential property value when the tax write-offs are calculated, effectively withholding legitimately due taxes from the government, which ultimately hurts the other taxpayers. I don't know if they actually went through with that easement, I didn't read that thoroughly, but I'm not that worried about it being victimless crimes in at least that case.
Fair enough, thank you.

I am predictably annoyed that Donald Trump the Democratic donor got to defraud New York and its citizens without question for decades, where Donald Trump the Republican candidate gets the book thrown at him, but that's no reason for me to deny the fraud took place.
I share your concerns and that this sort of thing should be caught much earlier, although I would frame it differently.

Oversight of business is generally lax to modest - to a certain extent because businesses have lobbied government to make it so. However, as the saying goes, the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. Businesses often can get away with a lot, but if they do anything that draws plenty of attention, those sins can come back to bite them.

However, I suspect it's not as bad as you imply. Trump decisively shifted to the Republicans many years ago - that was not enough, and countless rich and noisy Republicans don't have Democratic officials breathing down their necks. What more happened was the increased scrutiny caused by his political position. Once revelations started tumbling out, the nail was sticking up. Had Trump run (and won) as a Democrat, it is not credible that the Republicans wouldn't have dug into and shone a light on all those weak spots instead.
 

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However, I suspect it's not as bad as you imply. Trump decisively shifted to the Republicans many years ago - that was not enough, and countless rich and noisy Republicans don't have Democratic officials breathing down their necks. What more happened was the increased scrutiny caused by his political position. Once revelations started tumbling out, the nail was sticking up. Had Trump run (and won) as a Democrat, it is not credible that the Republicans wouldn't have dug into and shone a light on all those weak spots instead.
I agree with what you're saying, the Republican party is no less partisan nor petty, but I'd add two caveats: first, countless rich and noisy Republicans don't have Democrats breathing down their neck because they don't live in New York; second, the hypothetical Republicans digging into Democrat Trump do not currently have the institutional power to make something like this happen.
 

Ag3ma

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I agree with what you're saying, the Republican party is no less partisan nor petty, but I'd add two caveats: first, countless rich and noisy Republicans don't have Democrats breathing down their neck because they don't live in New York; second, the hypothetical Republicans digging into Democrat Trump do not currently have the institutional power to make something like this happen.
There are surely not a shortage of vocal Republicans in New York: it's the business capital of the USA. I'd agree that prosecution might be less likely, but on the other hand I think plenty of DAs are ambitious or dutiful irrespective of potential party loyalty, and it's relatively difficult to just ignore substantial evidence of criminality in the public sphere.
 

Ag3ma

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Money, fool, latter soon parted from former, etc.
I'm genuinely loving all the comments about how he's the last hope, the USA will collapse without him, etc.

Undoubtedly he was also the last hope in 2020, and Romney 2012, and McCain 2008, and despite all these last hopes for the USA that lost, the country is still here and doing pretty okay-good.
 
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I'm genuinely loving all the comments about how he's the last hope, the USA will collapse without him, etc.

Undoubtedly he was also the last hope in 2020, and Romney 2012, and McCain 2008, and despite all these last hopes for the USA that lost, the country is still here and doing pretty okay-good.
And, if Trump wins it'll be the end of democracy despite the fact he was already president and the US is still a democracy.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
And, if Trump wins it'll be the end of democracy despite the fact he was already president and the US is still a democracy.
In a cosmic sense, it would be funny if he won but the democrats won a super majority in the house and senate.
 
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Dalisclock

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'Once we give even more money to Trump I'm sure he'll finally make us not poor anymore.'
It's like a political version of the prosperity gospel.

He already claimed under oath that he has $400 million dollars in cash and liquid assets on hand, so if he tries to weasel out by saying he doesn't have the money he will also have perjured himself.
Anyone want to bet that he totally forgets he said that and uses that exact excuse?

Trump isn't particularly smart and the walls are closing in on him. That makes him all the more prone to mistakes.

He's also showing signs of dementia as well.
 

Ag3ma

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And, if Trump wins it'll be the end of democracy despite the fact he was already president and the US is still a democracy.
To be fair, Trump claims that as president he has "total authority" and total immunity, e.g. such as being able to pardon himself, and many more openly authoritarian expressions. Speaks like an authoritarian, acts like an authoritarian... Also, I can't help but notice his massively dishonest campaign to wrongfully present an election as fraudulent, and running several schemes to overturn the public vote - some of which he is facing charges over. So he's already attempted to cheat democracy.

I think it safe to say that the USA would probably emerge from another four years of Trump still a democracy, but that's because the institutions of state in the USA would be strong enough to constrain Trump. However, it would be even better for those institutions not to be tested in the first place.
 
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