Tax fraud trial: Trump's sons & daughter to testify but don't face jail term

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New York, November 1 (IANS) Former US President Donald Trump's son Don Jr., Eric and daughter Ivanka are to testify in the $250 million tax fraud trial at a Manhattan court on Wednesday as partners in the Trump Businesses.

The Trumps do not face the threat of a jail term, since it is a civil case, but they could get hit with millions of dollars in fines and be forced to liquidate their iconic Trump Organization, media reports said.

Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka were high profile during Trump's presidency but ever since the billionaire businessman left White House, they have learnt to cut a low profile.

Three of Donald Trump's adult children are now back in focus, as they take the witness stand at the Trump real estate fraud trial, USA Today reported.

The trial is likely to spill over a week during which Trump and three of his children are scheduled to testify in the New York civil case, defending themselves against the New York Attorney General Letitia James' (Democrat) accusations they inflated the value of their properties to obtain favorable loans and lower premiums in insurance coverage.

The testimony this week is being described by the media as a warm-up act of sorts.

Coming Monday next week, Trump himself is scheduled to take the stand.New York Attorney General Letitia James had subpoenaed Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump to testify about their business practices.

"As high-level employees of the Trump Organization, all three Trump children have information that could shed light on the valuation of properties at the heart of the case," said Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at the University of Michigan.

McQuade said the children "are being called to testify not because of their relationship to Trump but because of their roles in the business".

Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to be called to the witness stand on Wednesday, followed by Eric Trump.

Ivanka Trump first failed to quash her subpoena, so she is now set to testify on November 8.

That same day, her father is hosting a political rally in Hialeah, Fla., opposing the third Republican presidential debate in Miami.

Trump would be holding a rally across the road in Florida where the presidential hopefuls will be debating their campaigns.

Trump has skipped three rounds of GOP debates on grounds that he was far ahead of his contestants in the primaries in the polls.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled against Trump, saying as early as late September that Trump actually committed fraud while submitting inflated financial statements to banks and insurance companies.

Some of the claims are not resolved, but most of the current trial is devoted to assessing financial damages. James is seeking $250 million from the Trump family as punitive damages on loss to the treasury.

The Attorney General's Office also wants to ban the Trumps from ever opening again in New York state.