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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Trump’s business empire at risk of dissolution after New York ruling

FormerPresident Donald Trump speaks during an event at Mar-a-Lago April 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Erik Larson </p><p>and Patricia Hurtado Bloomberg

Donald Trump rode down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce he was running for president in 2015. The Fifth Avenue skyscraper had long served as the backdrop to his business success story, which in turn became the foundation for his rise in politics.

Now his control over that property and others could be in jeopardy.

The New York judge who ruled on Tuesday that the former president committed fraud by inflating the value of many of his assets also authorized state Attorney General Letitia James to cancel certificates for companies that hold those assets.

Judge Arthur Engoron said James, who sued Trump last year, could seek an order as well barring him and his companies from continuing to conduct business in New York.

At a Wednesday hearing, Engoron gave Trump and James 30 days to recommend the names of potential independent receivers to oversee the dissolution of those companies.

The Trump Organization is composed of some 500 entities, and the scope of Engoron’s order remains unclear.

Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump, asked the judge whether all of the Trump entities face dissolution.

Engoron said the parties and the receiver would “work it out.”

Kise on Tuesday called Engoron’s order “outrageous.”

“While the full impact of the decision remains unclear, what is clear is that President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice,” Kise said.

Losing certificates would mean Trump could no longer do business in New York as he had before, said Janet Sabel, a former chief deputy at the state attorney general’s office.

“But exactly how that plays out and what happens to his assets remains to be decided,” she