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‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary slams NY over Trump fraud ruling: ‘Mega-loser state’



“Shark Tank” star and investor Kevin O’Leary is denouncing a New York judge’s decision to penalize former President Donald Trump more than $355 million in Friday’s civil fraud ruling.

The fines were leveled against Trump by Judge Arthur Engoron, as well as an order to cease running business in New York State for three years. O’Leary vowed to FOX Business Monday he will never invest in the state due to its policy, perceived uncompetitive regulation and high taxes.

“I’m no different than any other investor. I’m shocked at this,” O’Leary expressed. “I can’t even understand or fathom the decision at all. There’s no rationale for it.”

The “Shark Tank” star says other investors have communicated worry given the ruling’s impact for what Trump argued was a victimless financial strategy.

“We’re very worried. Every investor is worried because where’s the victim? Who lost money?” O’Leary questioned. “What is this? $355 million as a penalty plus interest at 9% and there’s no victim?”

New York State is a “loser” in the venture capitalist’s eyes, which he believes foreign companies consider when seeking investment.

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“New York was already a loser state like California is a loser state. It was already on the top of the list for being a loser state,” O’Leary said. “Do you think any foreign institution or any private equity firm or any pension fund would touch New York? No. That’s why New Yorkers should be concerned.”

The investor said he would instead direct his funds toward states like West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Dakota for high-end data centers, which he labels as the “hottest” asset class. Each facility would purportedly hold more than 400 jobs.

“Most of the major institutions in the world need more data centers, and that’s why developers like me are doing this,” O’Leary noted. “[Oklahoma] Gov. Stitt – my staff have met with him – [North Dakota] Gov. Burgum – the same thing – [West Virginia] Gov. Justice – those are winner states. They don’t do things like this.”

The venture capitalist provided Tennessee as another example of a “winning” state for its opposing business approach.

“The fastest growing city in America – Nashville – winner state. Good policy, competitive taxes,” O’Leary observed. “You’ve got to start thinking about this in the context of winners and losers. New York – mega-loser state.”

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Friday’s ruling comes after New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump, as well as the Trump Organization, of fraudulently inflating the former president’s assets. James championed the ruling as a “massive” victory for Americans.

“We are holding Donald Trump accountable. We are holding him accountable for lying, cheating, a lack of contrition and for flouting the rules that all of us must play by because there cannot be different rules for different people in this country,” she stated. “Former presidents are no exception.”

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