Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

NY attorney general details possible fraud at Donald Trump's family business

EconomyJan 19, 2022 12:31PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during his first post-presidency campaign rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, U.S., June 26, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo 2/2

By Jonathan Stempel and Shivam Patel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state's attorney general has accused Donald Trump's family business of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to obtain financial benefits, citing what it said was significant new evidence of possible fraud.

The accusations by Attorney General Letitia James mark a substantial escalation of her civil probe into the Republican former U.S. president's business, the Trump Organization, and the roles of his adult children.

They are part of her effort to force Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump to comply with her subpoenas to testify under oath, which the family has asked a judge to block.

Neither Trump nor his children have been accused of criminal wrongdoing. While James cannot file criminal charges because her probe is civil, she can sue the Trumps and the company.

James is examining whether the Trumps violated a New York law targeting "persistent fraud or illegality," allowing her to seek damages or a court-ordered halt to any wrongdoing.

Trump has called the nearly three-year probe by James, a Democrat, a political "witch hunt."

In filings late Tuesday with a New York state court in Manhattan, James described what she called misleading statements about the values of six Trump properties, as well as the "Trump Brand."

The properties are golf clubs in Aberdeen, Scotland, and suburban Westchester County near New York City, the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester, buildings on Wall Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, and Trump's penthouse in Trump Tower.

James has been investigating whether real estate values were inflated to obtain bank loans and reduced to lower tax bills, and her filing described evidence of misstatements to lenders, insurers and the Internal Revenue Service.

The attorney general wants a judge to order the Trumps to testify within 21 days.

"We have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit," James said in a statement.

'UNFOUNDED ATTACKS'

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, in a statement called James' accusations "merely the latest in a long line of unfounded attacks against my client and an obvious attempt to distract the public from her own inappropriate conduct. Letitia, you are not above the law."

The Trump Organization in a statement said it will defend against James' "baseless" accusations, accusing her of twisting the facts and misleading the public because she faces "the stark reality that she has no case."

James' probe also partially overlaps a criminal probe by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which James joined in May, into the Trump Organization's practices.

The attorney general said the Trump Organization has "not made anything approaching a complete production of documents for Mr. Trump," including from cabinets holding his files.

Lawyers for the Trump family have argued that James' subpoenas are an improper means to gather evidence in the civil probe that could then be used in the criminal probe.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, in a statement said James' filings did not address her "repeated threats to target the Trump family" and ignore their constitutional rights by conducting overlapping probes.

In July, the Trump Organization and its longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty in the criminal probe to charges they awarded "off-the-books" benefits to company executives in a 15-year tax fraud.

FINANCIAL CONDITION

Many of James' accusations center on Donald Trump's annual "statements of financial condition," which give lenders and other counterparties the values and liabilities associated with various assets.

James said she found evidence that Trump was "personally involved" in approving the statements, and used them "in numerous commercial transactions for his own financial benefit."

She said one statement in June 2015 valued Trump's building at 40 Wall Street at $735.4 million, tacking on nearly $200 million to its appraised value, a mere eight months after one lender valued the same building at $257 million.

James said Trump inflated the values of the Scotland golf club and Seven Springs in part based on assumptions that residential housing could be built there.

She also said Trump in his 2015 and 2016 statements overstated the value of his penthouse apartment, putting it at $327 million by claiming it contained 30,000 square feet and not the 10,996 square feet described in various documents he signed.

Under questioning by her office, Weisselberg conceded that "this amounted to an overstatement of 'give or take' $200 million," James said in a filing.

Last month, Donald Trump sued James in a federal court in Albany, the state capital, to halt her civil probe, calling it a means to harass and intimidate a political opponent.

NY attorney general details possible fraud at Donald Trump's family business
 

Related Articles

Bear market beckons as US stock slide deepens
Bear market beckons as US stock slide deepens By Reuters - May 20, 2022 1

By Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - The stock market's brutal year neared a grim milestone as the S&P 500's slide on Friday threatened to leave it in a bear market for the...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (8)
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 19, 2022 4:32PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
NY massive tax burden hard at work for ya there.. lmao
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jan 19, 2022 1:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
One more way the Democrats are attempting to vilify their opposition, a strategy common throughout history with despotic, power hungry governments; even today.  Anyone involved in real estate will tell you that the things she is accusing them of can be based on very subjective opinions, and is quite common.  I'm sure their are quite a few politicians who have pressured or mislead appraisers for values in their favor.  It is all resulting in another waste of government resources by the Dems.
Su Sa
Su Sa Jan 19, 2022 1:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
True blue American. overstate to get loans. understate to get tax benefits.meanwhile us suckers pay to fund these fraudsters
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Jan 19, 2022 1:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This is sure to inflame the trump simps lol, they love their trump daddy
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 19, 2022 1:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
lil benji dreams of changing president poopy pants' loaded diapers.. big breaths of adoration for his beloved leader.. too cute!
Su Sa
Su Sa Jan 19, 2022 1:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
grab cats and chill dude
Ethel Basset
Ethel Basset Jan 19, 2022 1:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Have they ever investigated Hillary? Pathetic political witch-hunt!
Thomas Simpson
Thomas Simpson Jan 19, 2022 12:57PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
significant new evidence of possible fraud... translated....let's create the illusion in an election year because we don't have to prove anything because the sheep will follow the headline.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Jan 19, 2022 12:57PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
You might be confused on who the sheep really are
William Riley
William Riley Jan 19, 2022 11:47AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"possible" is code for not true.
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Jan 19, 2022 9:51AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I suggest someone look into property values before and after the appraisal and documents. This is another opinion story
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Jan 19, 2022 9:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Fake news, show me the facts
Thomas Phantom
Thomas Phantom Jan 19, 2022 9:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
you clearly cant handle facts
James Pattison
James Pattison Jan 19, 2022 9:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Facts dont matter to this “news outlet” because they have propaganda to spin… ruling elites out to protect their power…
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email