By George Dagless •
Published: 03 Oct 2023 • 11:41
Donald Trump facing charges/Shutterstock Images
Former United States President Donald Trump has taken aim at a judge and a prosecutor after attending the opening day of a fraud trial.
Trump, the Trump Organisation, a handful of executives and two of his children – Donald Jr and Eric – are all defendants in the trial at the New York Superior Court.
They are accused of committing fraud, falsification of business records, issuing false financial statements and conspiracy – though it is clear that the former President has no time for the accusations and he was on the offensive on the first day with his remarks.
Trump turned up voluntarily to day one but was keen to put his feelings across about the day’s proceedings, quoted as saying of the trial via the BBC:
“It’s a scam, it’s a sham. Just so you know, my financial statements are phenomenal.
“There was no crime – the crime was against me.”
Trump and his co-defendants have been accused of intentionally and persistently committing fraud, said to have earned him over $100m (£83m), with it recently ruled that he had overvalued his properties in order to get favourable bank loans.
Mr Trump’s lawyers claimed that he did not inflate the value of his assets – including the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
A former Trump accountant named Donald Bender testified as the first witness called by the attorney general’s office.
He said he worked on Trump’s tax returns and completed accounting work for Mr Trump’s corporate entities.
Bender has previously testified against the Trump Organisation, claiming they looked to evade taxes on certain things.
Trump and his fellow defendants will not face jail time if convicted, as the case is a civil one and not a criminal one.
However, they could have to pay $250m (£207m) and sanctions could be imposed that could prevent the Trumps from doing business in the state of New York.
Trump could lose some of his properties.
The case continues.
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