Booking mugshot of Donald Trump
Booking mugshot of Donald TrumpREUTERS

New York judge Arthur Engoron has ordered former US President Donald Trump to pay a $354.9M fine.

ABC reports that Trump and close associates were convicted of deliberately and significantly inflating the former president’s worth to fraudulently secure more favorable loan sums and conditions from banks. The lawsuit against them has carried on for the past few months.

Along with the fine, Trump and two other senior members of his firm have been banned from managing or directing any corporation or entity in New York for three years, and his sons Eric and Donald for two years. “The frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience,” Judge Arthur Engoron wrote.

The judge also alleges: “Overall, Donald Trump rarely responded to the questions asked and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial. His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility. Fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility or to impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences. The defendant's complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.”

Trump denounced the judge as corrupt in response to the ruling, claiming that the entire case constituted electoral interference and politicization of the justice system. Along with numerous posts on the Truth Social social media platform, he also delivered a speech to supporters outside the courthouse, saying that the banks had been repaid in full and that they viewed him as one of their most valuable clients.

Among other claims he made was that the Mar-a-Lago resort was valued by the court at $18M while its true value was between $50-100M, and that the financial reports used as evidence had included waivers that shielded him from liability. He further alleged that the judge had ruled against Trump before the case started saying that the ruling had been announced before the case had begun and that the judge did not know of what crime Trump was guilty.

The Trump legal team has pledged to appeal the decision.