The New York Attorney General on Wednesday sued former President Donald Trump and his company, alleging business fraud involving some of their most valuable assets, including real estate in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, DC.
The lawsuit filed in New York state court by Attorney General Letitia James is the culmination of a three-year civil investigation by the Democratic Party into Trump and the Trump Organization.
look: New York Attorney General James files civil fraud lawsuit against Trump, children
Three of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.
The lawsuit seeks to hit the core of what made Trump famous, first as a real estate developer, then as an “apprentice” and then as a “celebrity apprentice,” and later as president.
James, a Democrat, announced details of the lawsuit at a press conference Wednesday. The case appeared in court records Wednesday morning.
James said Trump “accidentally inflated his net worth by billions”.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the goal is to hone Trump’s billionaire image so that the value of his property is in his favor and that assets are otherwise for tax purposes. was to underestimate the value of
“This investigation found that Donald Trump engaged in years of illegal activity to inflate his net worth in order to defraud banks and the people of New York State,” James said at a news conference. It became clear: “Claiming to have money you don’t have is not the art of trading. It is the art of stealing.”
James, who seeks to keep Trump out of companies involved in alleged fraud, has been appointed more than five years to oversee the Trump organization’s compliance, financial reporting, valuations, and disclosures to lenders, insurance companies, and tax authorities. We want independent observers who are
She replaces the current trustee of the revocable trust that manages Trump’s business interests with an independent trustee, bans Trump and the Trump Organization from buying commercial real estate for five years, and bans loans from banks in New York. I am trying to ban you from receiving He will ban Trump and his three adult children from serving as officers or directors of New York corporations or similar entities registered and/or licensed in New York State for five years and permanently. .
She also seeks to permanently ban Weisselberg and McConney from engaging in financial management functions for New York corporations or similar entities registered and/or licensed in New York State.
James said her investigation uncovered potential criminal activity, including falsification of business records, issuance of false financial statements, insurance fraud, conspiracy and bank fraud. She said her office has referred these findings to federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service.
Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said the lawsuit “is not focused on facts or law, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda.”
“It is very clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory powers by snooping into transactions in which no wrongdoing has taken place at all,” Habba said. “We believe our justice system will not tolerate this unchecked abuse of power, and we look forward to defending our clients against each and every one of the Attorney General’s baseless allegations. increase.”
James’ lawsuit comes amid unprecedented legal challenges to the former president, including an FBI investigation into Trump’s handling of classified records and an investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. It was broken.
The Trump Organization went on trial in October in a criminal case alleging it plotted to give tax-free benefits to senior executives, including longtime financial chief Weisselberg, who earned more than $1.7 million in extra income. It is scheduled to be
Weisselberg, 75, pleaded guilty on August 18. His plea bargain requires him to testify at the company’s trial before his five-month prison sentence begins. If convicted, the Trump Organization could be fined twice the amount of unpaid taxes.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is conducting a parallel criminal investigation into the same business practices at the heart of James’ civil suit. The inquiry lost momentum earlier this year when Mr. Bragg raised internal questions about the viability of the criminal case, but Democrats said it wasn’t abandoned.
At the same time, the FBI continues to investigate Trump’s storage of classified government documents in Florida’s Mar-a-Lago mansion, and a special grand jury in Georgia has ruled that Trump and others are in the state. are investigating whether they tried to influence election officials in
Ahead of November’s midterm elections, Republicans are seeking control of one or two houses of Congress.
Meanwhile, Trump is laying the groundwork for a campaign that could return him to the presidency in 2024, accusing the Joe Biden administration of targeting him and hurting his political chances.
State law provides a wide range of civil actions against companies that commit commercial fraud, including revoking their license to do business in the state, removing company officers, compelling them to pay back, and expropriating their ill-gotten gains. I accept relief.
James’ office may also consider banning Trump from engaging in certain types of businesses, with a judge in January banning former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry. permanently banned from
In previous clashes with Trump, James oversaw the closure of his charity, the Trump Foundation. That was after her predecessor, the Office of Attorney General Barbara Underwood, filed a lawsuit alleging she misused its assets to settle business disputes and boost white candidacy. House. A judge ordered Trump to pay her $2 million to a series of charities to settle the matter.
James, who has campaigned as a Trump critic and watchdog, said in March 2019 that his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was in Congress in financial statements provided to Deutsche Bank during Trump’s fundraising attempt. After testifying that he had exaggerated his assets, he began scrutinizing his business practices. To buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Since then, James’ office and Trump’s attorneys have repeatedly argued over the direction of the investigation and Trump’s unwillingness to comply with subpoenas for testimony and records. After spending months battling the subpoenas that led to it, his lawyer told the court that he should be excused from testifying because his responses could be used in Bragg’s criminal investigation. I couldn’t convince him.
In May, Trump was charged with contempt of court and paid a $110,000 fine for being slow to respond to a subpoena to James’ office for documents and other evidence. The contempt certification was lifted in June after his attorney submitted documents showing that he had made a good faith effort to find relevant documents.