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A day after judge rules against Trump Organization, attorneys return to court for pre-trial conference

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(NEW YORK) — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump and the other defendants in the New York attorney general’s $250 million civil fraud case return to court Wednesday for a final conference ahead of a trial that’s scheduled to begin as early as Monday.

In a scathing order issued Tuesday, Justice Arthur Engoron ordering the cancelation of the Trump Organization’s business certificates in New York after finding that Trump and his co-defendants engaged in “persistent fraud” by inflating the value of his assets.

But the judge wrote in Tuesday’s ruling that a trial was still required to decide six remaining causes of action alleged by the attorney general, as well as the scope of the penalty, which could include barring Trump from making real estate acquisitions and applying for loans in New York.

Wednesday’s final pre-trial conference is also likely to address the outstanding motions filed by the defense to limit testimony and evidence before the scheduled start of trial on Monday.

Tuesday’s order, granting partial summary judgment, severely restricts Trump’s ability to conduct business in New York going forward.

Engoron wrote in the order that Trump, his adult sons, Eric and Don Jr., and the other defendants fraudulently inflated the value of properties including Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida and his own triplex apartment in New York City, as well as 40 Wall Street, Trump Park Avenue, multiple golf courses, and an estate in upstate New York.

Responding to the order, Eric Trump, who runs the Trump Organization’s day-to-day operations, said on X, previously known as Twitter, “We have run an exceptional company — never missing a loan payment, making banks hundreds of millions of dollars, developing some of the most iconic assets in the world. Yet today, the persecution of our family continues…”

Defense counsel filed multiple motions in the lead-up to trial, including requests to exclude the testimony of six expert witnesses proposed by the government, motions to prevent evidence they argue is outside the statute of limitations, and requests to limit potential surprise witnesses during trial.

During a pre-trial conference last week, Engoron expressed frustration at defense counsel for rehashing flawed arguments he had already ruled against, leading the judge on Tuesday to sanction five defense lawyers $7,500 each for reiterating “frivolous arguments.”

Trump attorney Alina Habba said her client plans to immediately appeal what she called the judge’s “fundamentally flawed” decision Tuesday.

“We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

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