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On Wednesday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a sweeping lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, three of his adult children, and the Trump Organization.
James claimed all parties were involved in a massive scam that spanned more than a decade to enrich the former president.
Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit runs to more than 200 pages, alleging the fraud touched on all aspects of Trump’s business, including his properties and golf courses.
The lawsuit alleges that the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers, and tax authorities by inflating property values with misleading estimates.
Speaking about the scam at a recent conference in New York, James said:
“This conduct cannot be brushed aside and dismissed as some sort of good-faith mistake.”
“The statements of financial condition were greatly exaggerated, grossly inflated, objectively false, and therefore fraudulent and illegal.”
“And as a result of that, we are seeking relief, and Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization, his family – they should all be held accountable.”
Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are named defendants in the lawsuit.
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and longtime CEO Jeff McConney were also named.
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Attorney General Letitia James said she believed state and criminal laws were violated and referred the case to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.
“These acts of fraud and misrepresentation were similar in nature, were committed by upper management at the Trump Organization as part of a common endeavor for each annual Statement, and were approved at the highest levels of the Trump Organization – including by Mr. Trump himself,” the lawsuit reads.
James asks for $ 250 million in alleged illicit funds.
She also plans to permanently ban Trump and the children involved in the lawsuit from serving as directors of a New York State registered company.
Additionally, James is trying to cancel the Trump Organization’s corporate certificate.
If granted, it could effectively force the company to cease operations in upstate New York.
Alina Habba, a Trump attorney, responded to Wednesday’s announcement with a statement.
“Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law – rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” she said.
“It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place.”
The lawsuit comes as Trump faces increasing legal pressure and prosecutors are taking investigative measures to get closer to his inner circle.
The former president faces numerous criminal investigations by federal and state prosecutors, including:
- The accuracy of his company’s financial statements
- Interference in the 2020 presidential election
- His handling of classified documents after leaving office
Donald Trump has denied all allegations.
Asset value allegations
According to the lawsuit, James highlighted “200 false and misleading valuations” of Trump’s assets.
“The financial statements in question were issued annually; each contained a significant number of fraudulent, false, and misleading representations about a great many of the Trump Organization’s assets; and most played a role in particular transactions with financial institutions,” the lawsuit reads.
“The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering.”
According to James, Trump’s companies annually prepare financial condition statements for submission to banks and other financial institutions.
The statements also showed the financial position of the Trump companies, which was relied upon when the organization applied for loans.
James told reporters Wednesday that every personal statement from Trump, Trump Jr., and Weisselberg had been verified as accurate.
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The lawsuit is the latest in a three-year investigation by James into the Trump Organization’s finances.
Earlier this year, James’s office said it found “significant” evidence that the organization was using false or misleading asset valuations in its financial statements for loans, insurance, and tax benefits.
In February, Trump’s old accounting firm resigned.
Letitia James launched her investigation in 2019 after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal repairman and personal attorney, testified before Congress, claiming Trump inflated the value of certain assets to obtain loans and insurance.
In doing so, he undervalued others in order to gain tax benefits.
The Trump Organization will also go on trial next month for being involved in a 15-year-old tax fraud scheme.
The organization’s longtime chief financial officer has agreed to testify against the company.
New York attorney general files civil fraud lawsuit against Trump, some of his children and his business