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Trump’s civil fraud trial to begin in New York: What to know

Former United States President Donald Trump and his family business will face a civil trial in New York starting on Monday.

This was after New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire. The ruling came on September 26 in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James. Trump has said he will be attending the hearing.

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While the ruling addressed a key claim made by James, six other fraud claims remain.

It is these claims that will be addressed in the civil trial – a nonjury trial that Engoron will oversee.

Here is what you need to know about the trial:

What time does Trump’s trial start?

The trial will begin on Monday at 14:00 GMT.“I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” Trump wrote on Sunday night on his Truth Social platform. “THIS WHOLE CASE IS SHAM!!!” Trump wrote. “See you in Court – Monday morning.”

What is Trump accused of?

Judge Engoron found that Trump, his business and his two adult sons — Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump — fraudulently inflated the value of his assets, lying to tax collectors, lenders and insurers.An example is Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which was overvalued on one financial statement by as much as 2,300 percent, according to the court’s findings.Trump also lied about the size of his Manhattan apartment. He claimed his three-storey Trump Tower penthouse was nearly three times its actual size, valuing it at $327m.The accusations were a result of a years-long investigation by James, who sued Trump in September 2022.The investigation was sparked by a congressional testimony by Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in 2019, where he claimed that the then-president and his employees had manipulated his net worth to suit his interests, The New York Times reported earlier.

What is a nonjury trial?

In a nonjury trial, the judge acts as the jury.Typically, a jury decides whether a defendant is guilty based on evidence. A judge then decides the sentence, if the accused is found guilty.In this case, Engoron alone will act as the jury and decide on a verdict.

What penalties can Trump face?

James has sought a ban on Trump and his three eldest children — including his two older sons and daughter Ivanka — from running any company based in New York state again.Additionally, she is seeking $250m which she said is the estimated worth of benefits derived from the alleged fraud.She is also seeking a five-year commercial real estate ban against Trump and the Trump Organization.The judge ordered the cancellation of certificates that 10 of Trump’s business entities need to operate some of his marquee properties. This includes Trump Tower and his golf clubs in New York.Engoron said that he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee Trump Organization operations.If the order is not successfully appealed, Trump will lose the authority to make strategic and financial decisions over some of his key properties in the state.

What has Trump said about the case?

Trump called Engoron’s ruling a “corporate death penalty”.“I have a Deranged, Trump Hating Judge, who RAILROADED this FAKE CASE through a NYS Court at a speed never before seen,” Trump posted on Truth Social.In his post on Sunday night, Trump wrote that Engoron was “unfair, unhinged, and vicious in his PURSUIT of me.”

Trump said he will appear in court

Trump’s visit to court on Monday will mark a departure from his usual practice.He did not attend court as either a witness or a spectator when his company and one of its top executives were convicted of tax fraud last year.He did not go to court during a trial earlier this year in which a jury found him liable for sexually assaulting the writer E Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room.

Trump’s other indictments

This case is one of four criminal cases against Trump.

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Trump was indicted in New York in March on state charges stemming from hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters.In June, Trump was charged with 37 felony counts for keeping and hiding documents with sensitive national security content.In August, Trump was criminally indicted for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The trial could last into December, Engoron has said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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