Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano told Newsmax on Wednesday that Tuesday's ruling in former President Donald Trump's New York fraud case could have a "dramatic effect" on the New York City real estate community, not just the Trump Organization.
"The government argued that the Trump Organization — specifically, the former president and his three adult children — so grossly inflated, overstated, the value of their assets in order to get higher loans and then understated the value of the same assets in order to pay lower taxes, that they actually earned more money than they should have," Napolitano said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
"Even though … the banks were paid back, the insurance companies didn't have any major losses, as Donald Trump has said nobody lost a nickel, nevertheless, this statute allows the [New York] attorney general to sue people who have engaged in repeated acts of fraud, whether anyone lost money or not."
Judge Arthur Engoron on Tuesday issued an order granting partial summary judgment in the $250 million civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, ruling that Trump defrauded banks and insurers for years as he built the Trump Organization. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Napolitano said James is looking for two things when it comes to the outcome of the case.
"The attorney general is looking for disgorgement, a taking away from the Trump Organization of the profits they earned in the years under scrutiny, and that number is a huge number," Napolitano said. "It's a quarter of a billion dollars.
"She's also looking for the court to take away the Trump Organization's license to do business, and the court did that yesterday in a limited respect. This could have a dramatic effect on New York City real estate, on the New York City real estate development community, and on the hundreds and hundreds of people employed by the Trump Organization."
As part of his decision, Engoron canceled the New York business licenses of the defendants, potentially making it difficult for them to continue working in the state, NPR reported. The judge also ordered the continuation of an independent monitor for the Trump Organization.
Napolitano also commented on the decision in the Georgia election interference case against Trump to conceal the identity of jurors.
"I was never in favor of that myself because the Constitution entitles you to know who your judges are," he said. "But, apparently, the government has persuaded the judge in this case that there might be danger to the jurors, not from Donald Trump or any of the defendants, but from supporters of the former president. In support of that argument, the government produced threats that were made by members of the public on the grand jurors that indicted the former president.
"It sometimes gives the juries the impression — here's why I didn't like doing it when I was on the bench — that the defendants are bad guys or are dangerous and that is fundamentally unfair to the defendants."
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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