Ivanka Trump must testify in fraud case, judge rules

Ivanka Trump must testify in fraud case, judge rules

NEW YORK: Ivanka Trump will have to testify in a business fraud case against her father and brothers, a New York judge ruled.

She had previously sought not to take the stand, arguing that she had moved out of the city and had stepped away from the Trump Organization.

But Judge Arthur Engoron said she still maintains ties to Trump businesses and real estate in New York.

He has already ruled that Donald Trump inflated the value of his properties to secure favourable loans.

The trial focuses on six other claims made in the lawsuit, including falsification of business records, insurance fraud and conspiracy.

The defendants deny the allegations.

Prosecutors have argued that Ms Trump has important information to share about the case.

In his ruling on Friday, Judge Engoron sided with the prosecutors, writing: “Ms Trump has clearly availed herself of the privilege of doing business in New York.”

He cited documents showing that she still had ownership or management ties to some businesses in New York, and that she still owns Manhattan apartments.

Ms Trump’s lawyers argued that she had no legal basis to testify, as she had stepped down from the Trump Organization in 2017 and has since moved to Florida.

Meanwhile, state lawyers argued that Ms Trump was a key participant in some of the events being examined by the case.

Judge Engoron said her testimony will not be scheduled before 1 November to give her lawyers time to appeal the ruling.

Earlier this year, Ms Trump was dismissed as a defendant in the civil fraud case by a New York appeals court, who ruled that accusations against her are barred under the state’s statute of limitations.

The civil fraud case was brought against the former president by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is a Democrat.

Ms James is seeking $250m (£205m) in penalties and severe restrictions for Mr Trump’s businesses.

Mr Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 election, has dismissed the case as politically motivated and a “sham”.

It is expected that he and his sons will take the stand in the case at some point.

Courtesy: BBC