A New York appeals court on Thursday refused to delay Donald Trump's scheduled Monday civil fraud trial, after the former U.S. president accused the trial judge of wrongly refusing to throw out most of the case.
The decision was issued by the Appellate Division, a mid-level appeals court in Manhattan.
It came two days after state court Justice Arthur Engoron found that Trump and his family business persistently and fraudulently overvalued his assets and net worth in order to obtain better terms on loans and insurance.
The claims had been brought in September 2022 by state Attorney General Letitia James, who accused Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others of "staggering fraud" in how they valued properties.
For his part, Trump has steadfastly maintained that there was no wrongdoing, that a disclaimer on estimated values made clear they were not be considered binding, and that the entire case is being brought as political ploy to derail his 2024 bid to retake the White House.
James is seeking at least $250 million in penalties, a ban against Trump and his sons Donald Jr and Eric from running businesses in New York, and a five-year commercial real estate ban against Trump and the Trump Organization.
Trump sued Engoron on Sept. 14, seeking to delay the trial and accusing him of ignoring a June ruling from the appeals court that, according to Trump, required gutting James' case because many of her claims were too old.
Engoron's decision on Tuesday showed that he believed the appeals court ruling had little effect on James' case.
The judge said the defendants were living in "a fantasy world, not the real world," as they made up valuations for properties including Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida and Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan.
Real estate experts have chided the judge for dramatically underestimating the value of sites like Mar-a-Lago, by tens of millions of dollars.
Nontheless, Engoron indicated finding "conclusive evidence" that Trump had overstated his fortune by as much as $2.2 billion.
He also ordered the cancellation of certificates that let some of Trump's businesses operate.
This could force Trump to cede control to a receiver of properties including Manhattan's Trump Tower, a Wall Street office building, golf courses and his family estate in suburban Westchester County, New York.
In its June decision, the appeals court had said James could not pursue some claims that predated either July 2014 or February 2016.
James countered that Trump's annual financial statements reflected some of those earlier claims, and that she could sue over his "continuing wrongs."
The attorney general's case is unrelated to the four criminal indictments that Trump faces, including for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in all four cases, and repeatedly cast litigation against him as part of a politically motivated, Democratic witch hunt as he seeks a return to the White House.
Despite his legal woes, Trump holds a commanding lead for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Allies have been quick to note that the attempts to tag Trump with nindictments have only strengthened his support and boosted his lead over others seeking rhe GOP presidential nomination. That claim has been supported by multiple polls taken in the aftermath of charges.
Newsmax contributed to this report.
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