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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 every aspect of Trump’s business, including his real estate 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 former executive Jeff McConney were also named.
Attorney General Letitia James said she believed state and criminal laws were violated and referred the matter to the United States Attorney General 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 illegal 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.
Also, 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 steps to get closer to his inner circle.
The former president faces numerous criminal investigations by federal and state prosecutors for the following:
- 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 on Wednesday that every personal statement made by Trump, Trump Jr., and Weisselberg has been verified as accurate.
The lawsuit is the latest in a three-year investigation by James into the finances of the Trump Organization.
Earlier this year, James’ office said it found “significant” evidence that the organization had used false or misleading asset valuations in its financial statements for credit, insurance, and tax benefits.
In February, Trump’s former accounting firm resigned.
Letitia James launched her investigation in 2019 after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former handyman and personal attorney, testified before Congress that Trump inflated the value of certain assets to obtain credit and insurance.
As a result, his actions undervalued others to gain tax benefits.
The Trump Organization will also go on trial next month for its involvement in a 15-year-old tax evasion scheme.
The organization’s longtime chief financial officer has agreed to testify against the company.