A three-and-a-half-year investigation into Donald Trump's business practices made headlines on Wednesday when New York Attorney General Tish James announced an indictment charging Trump with "stupendous" fraud in his empire.

A break for Trump: it's only a civil case, not a criminal one. However, James is asking for draconian restrictions: a five-year ban on Trump buying real estate in New York or applying for loans 

ban on Trump and his three oldest children from running New York offices. any for others. of their lives. 

The lawsuit also seeks to compel Trump, his children and his company to hand over $250 million that he says was obtained through apparent fraud over a decade.  

"James plays hard ball," said Manhattan defense attorney Michael Shapiro. 

His hometown court could be overturned even though Manhattan attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. does not want to file criminal charges for the same act. Similarly 

James only needs to prove that Trump's actions were fraudulent or illegal by a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt as would be required in a criminal trial. 

If it doesn't look like Trump knew about the fake prices or told his subordinates to bring in assets and money, that might be enough to win over James.