Judge Blocks Trump From Shielding His Wealth Amid Trial

In the civil fraud case against the Trump family, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered to prevent the former president from making any covert financial transactions that could jeopardize his real estate empire.

The Trumps were told to reveal any businesses they owned and anything that could aid in any efforts to hide or preserve their fortune through corporate maneuvering.

The court has ordered Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and two other top executives in Trump businesses to disclose entities they controlled or benefit financially and “any anticipated transfer of assets,” including forming any newly formed entities to transfer assets to. Before appointing someone to dissolve Trump’s firms, Engoron permitted a court-appointed monitor, former federal judge Barbara Jones.

On the fourth day of trial, Engoron delivered a proactive and forceful motion designed to expose Trump’s dishonest practices thus far during the three-year probe. As a result of Trump’s internet attack on his clerk, the judge ordered a limited gag order, the former president complained about the trial in court, and Trump’s defense irritated the judge with delay tactics.

If disgorgement is one of the remedies, the court may have trouble enforcing it if he transfers assets to a new business entity that his company formed last year.

According to the summary decision issued by Judge Engoron last month, Trump and the other defendants committed fraud by exaggerating the worth of their assets to obtain more favorable loan and insurance terms. The remaining counts of James’ complaint are currently being heard in a separate bench trial, over which he has given the order for advance notification of asset transfers.

James said that Trump should not be allowed to engage in criminal action while the lawsuit is underway and asked for a preliminary injunction last year. She argued that should the court decide to apply disgorgement as one of the remedies; it will be more difficult to enforce if Trump transfers assets to a new business.