US Business News

Appeals Court Denies Ivanka Trump’s Request to Avoid Testifying in NY Fraud Trial

New York Appeals Court Upholds Testimony Order

In a recent legal development that has captured the attention of the public, a New York appeals court has rendered a significant decision in the case of Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of former President Donald Trump and wife of billionaire Jared Kushner. The court’s decision revolves around her request to avoid testifying in a $250 million fraud trial involving her family and their extensive business empire. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the circumstances, the arguments presented during the legal proceedings, and the eventual ruling by the appeals court.

Ivanka Trump Arguments and Rulings

Throughout the trial, Ivanka Trump argued fervently against her requirement to testify, citing concerns of “undue hardship,” primarily stemming from the timing of her testimony, which fell “in the middle of a school week.” This argument marked a pivotal juncture in the legal battle. It is important to note that the trial is centered on the allegations made by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who asserts that a decade-long scheme was orchestrated by Trump Sr., his adult sons, the Trump Organization, and others. This scheme aimed to artificially inflate the former President’s net worth, thereby gaining various financial perks, including tax benefits and more favorable loan terms. James is seeking substantial damages, with the figure estimated at approximately $250 million. Furthermore, she is determined to prevent the defendants from engaging in another New York business, making the case an intensely debated issue in the legal arena.

Interestingly, Ivanka Trump had already been dismissed as a party in this case earlier in the year. An appeals court had determined that the claims against her were no longer valid due to falling outside the statute of limitations. Nevertheless, her father, Trump Sr., and her two adult brothers, Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, remain co-defendants in this high-stakes legal battle.

Legal Experts Weigh In

The argument that struck a chord with legal experts and the public alike was Ivanka’s concern about the school week schedule. Many experts and observers have raised questions regarding the credibility of this claim. Some have noted that the Kushner family, with its substantial resources, is more than capable of securing additional childcare support, making it less convincing as a valid reason for her reluctance to testify. Furthermore, attention has been drawn to Ivanka Trump’s active participation during her father’s presidency, which included accompanying him on both domestic and overseas trips. This level of involvement in official duties during her time in the White House has raised eyebrows in light of her current argument.

Trial Continues

With the First Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division firmly denying Ivanka’s request to avoid testifying, the trial proceeds, captivating the legal community and the general public alike. Legal analysts and observers await the upcoming events in this high-profile case with keen interest.

Batteries become major concern with fires, regulation to be upheld

Batteries Lithium-ion batteries are frequently used in electronic devices due to their high energy density and rechargeability.

However, they are prone to failure and overheating, which can result in fires and explosions.

The growth of lithium metal dendrites, which can penetrate the separator and cause a short circuit, is the most prevalent cause of battery failure.

Overcharging, physical damage, and prolonged exposure to high temperatures can all cause the battery to overheat and catch fire.

To avoid these situations, battery manufacturers use safety safeguards such as temperature and voltage sensors, protective coatings, and fire retardants.

Battery failure may be reduced by regular maintenance and proper management of electrical devices.


Several New York Democrats have lately indicated support for federal legislation governing lithium-ion battery safety standards.

The announcement followed a series of mishaps caused by faulty or overheated batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are often found in consumer electronics such as e-scooters and telephones.

They were recently investigated following reports of explosive fires caused by the batteries’ flammable components.


Following months of incidents, New York decided to implement protections.

A five-alarm fire broke out in the Bronx region of New York City in early March, injuring seven persons.

According to fire officials, the fire was ignited by a lithium-ion battery.

Almost 200 firefighters tried to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire, according to FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, was a lithium-ion battery used to power a scooter.

“In all of these fires, these lithium-ion fires, it is not a slow burn – there’s not a small amount of fire, it literally explodes,” said Kavanagh.

“It’s a tremendous volume of fire as soon as it happens, and it’s very difficult to extinguish and so it’s particularly dangerous.”

A Manhattan apartment complex caught fire after a lithium-ion battery detonated in November 2022.

Thirty-eight people were injured, including five severely injured, two gravely injured, and the rest minorly injured.

Read also: Bed Bath & Beyond to liquidate its inventory

Safety standards

In the last weeks of March, the House of Representatives introduced the “Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act.”

The Act set federal safety standards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in electric bicycles and scooters.

The bill also creates regulations to protect customers from potential lithium-ion battery fires.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, remarked during a press conference on Sunday afternoon:

“Without federal legislation, and so many of these batteries come from across state lines or made overseas or made in China, we will not have a complete and strong solution.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York echoed his thoughts, saying:

“We cannot allow for faulty or improperly manufactured batteries to keep causing these dangerous, deadly fires.”

During the press briefing, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh revealed that in 2023, lithium-ion batteries will be responsible for 63 fires and five deaths in New York.

Public safety

The new lithium-ion battery safety measure was sponsored in March by Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-NY.

He described the legislation as a precautionary measure to protect people and property.

Torrid went on to warn that the current occurrence reminded him of the rising threat that lithium-ion batteries posed to public safety, saying:

“I’m grateful to the hundreds of first responders who continue to bravely respond to these incidents and do all they can to save lives and property, but the time has come for the federal government to act because this problem is not isolated to just New York.”

“We must work to create and implement national safety standards for lithium-ion batteries in order to protect people and places from unreasonable risk, serious injury or damage, and/or death.”

Two weeks earlier, officials reported two lithium-ion battery-related deaths.

According to investigators, an e-bike caught fire in a building entryway and erupted to a higher level, impeding escape.

The New York City Fire agency’s Fire Marshal Dan Flynn said the Queens incident was the 59th lithium-ion battery-related fire the agency has put out.

Furthermore, the fire service advised residents to take the following safety precautions:

  • Buy UL-certified devices
  • Keep their devices at room temperature
  • Keep the devices away from direct sunlight

Allen Weisselberg receives 5 month jail sentence

Allen Weisselberg: The Trump Organization’s longtime CFO recently received a five-month prison sentence.

The sentence

A New York judge gave Allen Weisselberg a prison term for his part in a ten-year scheme to commit tax fraud.

Weisselberg testified for New York in a lawsuit against the former president’s organization.

He will begin serving his term as soon as he gets to the infamous Rikers Island prison in New York City.

According to someone who knows the situation, Weisselberg won’t be lodged with the general populace.

Instead, he will be housed in an infirmary facility.

Trump Organization

Early this month, a Manhattan jury convicted two Trump Organization companies responsible for many counts of felony tax fraud.

They were also found guilty of fabricating corporation records and failing to disclose and pay taxes on the wages of top executives as part of a 15-year conspiracy to deceive tax officials.

All accusations against Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation were judged to be credible.

Trump and his family were not indicted, but he was constantly mentioned because he participated in executive benefits.


The former CFO pleaded guilty to 15 counts in August.

As part of a deal with the prosecutors, Allen Weisselberg was required to give testimony at the Trump Organization trial.

He also had to pay $2 million in additional unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest.

Additionally, Weisselberg had to waive his right to appeal.

Allen Weisselberg admitted that he should have paid taxes on his annual off-the-books compensation of over $200,000.

This compensation comprised the following:

  • A luxurious Manhattan apartment overlooking the Hudson River
  • Car leases for two Mercedes Benz 
  • Parking space
  • Utilities
  • Furniture
  • Private school tuition for grandchildren

According to the testimony from the trial, the judge, Juan Merchan, said on Tuesday that he would have given a stiffer sentence than five months.

Without a deal, Weisselberg would have run the possibility of receiving a sentence ranging from five to fifteen years in prison.

He might spend over 100 days in jail even if credit for good behavior is provided for a third of his sentence.

Read also: Joe Biden visits El Paso border as president for the first time


Judge Merchan affirmed the CFO’s creation of a false $6,000 payroll check to his wife.

The most terrible act driven by Weisselberg’s greed, according to Merchan, was his wife’s prospective eligibility for Social Security benefits.

The judge stated that he had to agree with the CFO’s attorney, who had requested a lower term owing to Weisselberg’s age and other factors.

Allen Weisselberg had adhered to the conditions of his plea deal, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s prosecutor, who testified before Merchan rendered his decision.

According to prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, he provided accurate testimony in December against Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation.

She confirmed that he paid the remaining $1 million in unpaid taxes and penalties he owed to tax authorities last week.

In total, Weisselberg paid more than $2 million.

Attorney & judge

Weisselberg’s lawyer, Nicholas Gravante, conceded that Tuesday would be difficult for the CFO but that he had been preparing for months since pleading guilty in August.

“Mr. Weisselberg came to court today ready to begin his sentence, and he is grateful that it has now begun,” said the attorney.

“He deeply regrets the lapse in judgment that resulted in his conviction, and he regrets it most because of the pain it has caused his loving wife, his sons, and wonderful grandchildren.”

According to New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the plea and sentence demonstrate that no matter who you are or who you work for in Manhattan, “you have to play by the rules.”

“Now, he and two Trump companies have been convinced of felonies, and Weisselberg will serve a jail sentence for his crimes,” he added.

Legal woes

Allen Weisselberg is a defendant in the $250 million civil complaint filed by Letitia James, the attorney general of New York.

She said that the Trump Organization inflated the value of various Trump Organization properties to defraud insurers, lenders, and tax authorities for more than ten years.

James identified the officials responsible for the schemes, including Weisselberg, Trump, and his three eldest children.

The former US President denied the charges and asserted that the lawsuit was undertaken for political purposes.

During his testimony in the tax fraud trial last year, Weisselberg said that he socialized with other members of the Trump Organization.

Donald Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. were involved in several conversations.

Despite this, he informed the jury that he did not conspire with or plan anything with any Trump family members.

In December, following a two-hour deliberation on the following accusations, two Trump Organization entities were found guilty:

  • Multiple charges of tax fraud
  • Falsifying business records.

According to someone who knows the situation, Allen Weisselberg left the Trump Organization on Tuesday and received a severance payment.

Other investigations

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been looking into the Trump Organization, and one of the continuing investigations is now over with the Weisselberg sentencing.

The prosecution has done a detailed investigation into the accuracy of the companies’ financial statements.

Recent events have brought attention to the company’s involvement in the hush-money payments to prevent adult film star Stormy Daniels from confirming an affair with Donald Trump before the 2016 election.

But Trump has denied the scandal.


Allen Weisselberg, former Trump Org. CFO, sentenced to 5 months in jail

Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of criminal tax fraud

Apartments in Manhattan witness drop during fourth quarter

Apartment: People were alarmed by Manhattan’s sharp 29% decline in apartment sales during the fourth quarter.

The decline also raised concerns about a market that would become stagnant as a result of buyers’ and sellers’ hesitation over the economy and interest rates.

The news

A report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel states that 2,546 sales were made in total during the fourth quarter.

Though outstanding, the numbers were down from the previous year by 3,560.

The decline was also the most since the pandemic’s peak in the third quarter of 2020.

However, since the median price dropped by 5.5%, prices began to decline for the first time since early 2020.


The decreases in sales and prices mark the conclusion of Manhattan real estate’s recovery from the harshest effects of the pandemic and raise concerns about additional problems in 2023.

The following have had a significant effect on Manhattan’s real estate market and will probably have an impact this year:

  • Rising interest rates
  • A weaker economy
  • A declining stock market


Analysts say an extended standoff between buyers and sellers is their biggest worry.

As prices decline, sellers are reluctant to offer homes, and until prices continue to decline, buyers won’t be looking.

The CEO of Miller Samuel, an appraisal company conducting market research, is Jonathan Miller.

“I could see the market moving sideways, with some modest declines in some sectors,” said Miller.

“And it could weaken further if there is the backdrop of recession and job loss.”

Read also: A Better Prospect for the Real Estate Market in 2023


Despite declining prices and sales, inventory is still low because some sellers are delaying their listings.

By the end of the fourth quarter, there were 6,523 apartments available, according to the report.

Despite a 5% increase, the numbers are still less than the documented average of over 8,000.

Analysts believe prices are unlikely to decrease enough to entice buyers waiting for discounts because inventory hasn’t increased significantly.

Compared to the third quarter’s 4.1%, Serhant reports that the average discount from the initial list price to the sales price was 6.5%.

Jonathan Miller claims that as interest rates rise, more Manhattan buyers choose all-cash transactions.

The deals represent 55% of all sales in the fourth quarter, the highest percentage ever.

Luxury units

Luxury and premium apartments continue to make up the majority of the market.

They are in the top 10% of the New York real estate market.

In contrast to the overall Manhattan market’s decrease, the median sales price for luxury apartments rose by 4% in the fourth quarter.

Aside from that, the median price for high-end and luxury apartments is up 21% from 2019 — twice as much as the increase for the overall market.

2023 outlook

The network of deals that are ongoing or that have just been signed suggests that the first quarter will move slowly.

According to Brown Harris Stevens, only 2,312 contracts were signed in the fourth quarter, a decrease of more than 43% from 2022.

Serhant notes that the quarter was the worst for signing new contracts in the past ten years.

“Contracts signed are a timelier indicator of demand and registered one of the slowest finishes to any year since 2008,” said Brown Harris Stevens.

Brokers are still upbeat, however, since many anticipate a positive surprise this year.

They cited the examples of rates leveling out and purchasers finding opportunities in a softening market.


The co-founder of Eklund Gomes team at Douglas Elliman, John Gomes, dubbed December “on fire” with many year-end deals.

“It really caught us off guard,” said Gomes.

“Things really turned around in December.”

John Gomes claims that a buyer paid $20 million for a townhouse in Greenwich Village even though it wasn’t listed for sale.

Additionally, he claimed that a real estate investor made offers for individual flats in the complex, which appeared to be accepted today.

Read also: Travel Industry Experts Predict More Profits in 2023

Foreign influence

Gomes cited the overseas buyers, many of whom began coming back to New York in December, as the cause of the December surge in business.

Travel restrictions across the globe are gradually easing, and the dollar is marginally weakening.

Brokers claim that customers, primarily from China and the Middle East, returned in December.

Brokers also disclosed that purchasers are using cash and taking advantage of lower pricing to avoid rising interest rates.

New apartment building developers are also cutting prices to sell any unsold units.

“Developers are being realistic, they’re making concessions on price and closing costs,” said John Gomes.

“I feel optimistic about the coming year.”


Manhattan apartment sales plunge in fourth quarter as brokers fear a frozen market