Judge fines Donald Trump over $354M, bars him from N.Y. real estate for 3 years

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered former President Donald Trump (pictured earlier this month) to pay a $354 million penalty and slapped him with a three-year ban from doing real estate business in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Judge Arthur Engoron ordered former President Donald Trump (pictured earlier this month) to pay a $354 million penalty and slapped him with a three-year ban from doing real estate business in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A New York judge has declared former President Donald Trump must pay more than $354 million in damages related to civil fraud and cannot conduct real estate business in the state for three years.

New York State Judge Arthur Engoron issued his long-awaited verdict Friday in the civil fraud trial against Trump and the Trump Organization.

Engoron also slapped Trumps sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., with a two-year ban on doing business in New York. Each son was ordered to pay $4 million, according to CNN.

The judge also fined former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Wesselberg, $1 million.

In a string of posts on Truth Social, Trump lashed out at Engoron, calling his verdict "election interference and tyrannical abuse of power" and a "complete and total sham."

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered former President Donald Trump to pay a $354 million penalty and slapped him with a three-year ban from doing real estate business in New York. Trump is set to be back in court in March on charges of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election. Pool photo by Brendan McDermid/UPI

"There were no victims, no damages, no complaints. Only satisfied banks and insurance companies (which made a ton of money)," one post read.

Trump said he will appeal the penalty, which could climb above $450 million after interest. He also is expected to ask an appeals court to halt the ban on him and his sons from running the Trump Organization while it considers the case.

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a press conference after a State Supreme Court decision in the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump on Friday. James calledthe case "a major win for everyone who believes that we must all play by the same rules." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a press conference after a State Supreme Court decision in the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump on Friday. James calledthe case "a major win for everyone who believes that we must all play by the same rules." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Later Friday, Trump spoke to media at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and called the verdict a "very sad day for, in my opinion, the county."

His attorney, Alina Habba, called the ruling a "witch hunt" that was conspired against Trump before New York Attorney General Letitia James took office.

After the verdict on damages on Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James posted on X, saying, "This is a major win for everyone who believes that we must all play by the same rules. No matter how big, how rich or how powerful you are, no one is above the law. Not even Donald Trump." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
After the verdict on damages on Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James posted on X, saying, "This is a major win for everyone who believes that we must all play by the same rules. No matter how big, how rich or how powerful you are, no one is above the law. Not even Donald Trump." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

"This verdict is a manifest injustice -- plain and simple," Habba said in a statement. "It is the culmination of a multiyear, politically fueled witch hunt that was designed to 'take down Donald Trump,' before Letitia James ever stepped foot into the attorney general's office."

James in 2022 accused Trump of submitting fraudulent financial statements that inflated his net worth by as much $2.2 billion. He was convicted in September.

Her suit alleged Trump inflated the values of such properties as his Mar-A-Lago home in Florida and Trump Tower at 40 Wall Street in New York.

She had asked Engoron to fine Trump and his co-defendants $370 million in penalties and ban the former president and real estate mogul from doing business in New York for life.

James posted on X after the verdict, calling it a "massive victory."

"Today, justice has been served," one post read. "This is a major win for everyone who believes that we must all play by the same rules. No matter how big, how rich or how powerful you are, no one is above the law. Not even Donald Trump."

Trump throughout the trial maintained his financial statements were "conservative" and that James' suit against him was politically motivated.

"This is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to damages," Trump said during his closing arguments in January.

Engoron's judgement is the latest judicial defeat for the former president while he campaigns to take back the White House from Joe Biden in November.

Trump last month was forced to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll for defamatory statements after she accused him of a sexual assault that happened in 1990.

He also has a trial scheduled for March 25 where he faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels.