New York Attorney General Letitia James sues Trump and the Trump Organization, seeking an end to their business in the state and $250 million in relief

New York Attorney General Letitia James sues Trump and the Trump Organization, seeking an end to their business in the state and $250 million in relief

Alleging a widespread effort to manipulate property valuations of former President Donald Trump, three of his children and his eponymous company, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday that her office is suing it. os, seeking $250 million and the end of its operations in the state. .

James’ office alleged in a 220-page complaint filed Wednesday that Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, as well as others who served as corporate executives at the Trump Organization, engaged in a one-time scheme. year to enrich by inflating the values ​​of a wide range of properties, stretching across its international real estate empire.

James’ office is asking a judge to revoke the Trump Organization’s business certificate, preventing it from doing business in New York. Her office is seeking to permanently bar Trump and his children named in the process from serving as a director or director of any business entity in New York, including his family’s company. She is also calling for a five-year ban on Trump and the company from acquiring New York real estate or borrowing from any New York-based company.

Trump and the company could not immediately be reached for comment.

The complaint accuses the company of more than 200 cases of false asset valuations.

James’ office launched its civil investigation in 2019 after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, testified in Congress, raising questions about whether the Trump Organization “issued fraudulent financial statements,” according to court documents related to the investigation. The investigation’s initial focus was on whether the Trump Organization inflated asset valuations while seeking loans and insurance coverage and deflated the value of other assets to reduce tax liability.

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It became a comprehensive investigation of dozens of Trump properties and years of Trump Organization finances. Investigators in James’ office have pored over more than a million pages of documents, according to and issued subpoenas to dozens of current and former executives who work for the Trump Organization and other related companies. Finally, in August, Trump and two of his children — Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. – testified after a fight that lasted almost a year.

Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer hundreds of questions.

The investigation functioned as a “special case” in which a New York judge presided over years of contentious disputes over subpoenas and other challenges in often public filings and hearings.

The lawsuit made public developments that might otherwise have remained confidential, such as a letter sent to the company in February by its longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, severing ties with the Trump Organization and saying a decade of its financial statements ” should no longer be trusted.”

In court, attorneys for James’ office described an effort to clear finances on properties from Los Angeles to Scotland. They have repeatedly said that their investigation was uncovering evidence that Trump and his company “fraudulently” valued various assets and “misrepresented” those values ​​to financial institutions they partnered with.

Lawyers for the Trump Organization have criticized the effort in hearings and filings as an unprecedented “fishing expedition”.

The company has repeatedly tried to stop the investigation and protect the Trumps from depositions, but they have been rejected each time by New York courts, which ruled that the investigation and their subpoenas were legal.

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Trump and his company have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing, calling them a “witch hunt” and a “political crusade.” Trump’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit comes as Trump and the company face growing legal danger. The Trump Organization is being prosecuted in a criminal trial on Oct. 24 in Manhattan, where it will fight charges of fraud and tax evasion. The company has entered a declaration of innocence in the case.

Trump is at the center of at least two federal investigations — a grand jury investigation into his alleged role in the events leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and a separate investigation into his handling of documents labeled “Top Secret.” ” found at his home in Florida. He is also the focus of a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, which is investigating Trump’s conduct after he lost the 2020 election.

Source : www.cbsnews.com

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