Letitia James, the New York attorney general, released new details about her civil investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business, saying the probe has uncovered evidence that the company placed a fraudulent value on multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for financial gain.
In the court document, James, who began her investigation in 2019, also stated that the former president “had ultimate authority over a wide swath of behavior by the Trump Organization,” including fraudulent misstatements to financial institutions, the Internal Revenue Service, and others.
She notably addressed the accountability of Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, two of the former president’s adult children.
“Since 2017, Donald Trump, Jr. has had authority over numerous financial statements containing misleading asset valuations,” James wrote in the court filing.
Ivanka Trump “was a primary contact for the Trump Organization’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank. In connection with this work, Ms. Trump caused misleading financial statements to be submitted to Deutsche Bank and the federal government,” James wrote.
“Thus far in our investigation, 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 Tuesday. “The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them.”
Her office also stated it “has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action.”
Before making loans, banks and other lenders need to know the exact financial situation of loan applicants. It is fraud if a corporation exaggerates its financial situation in order to obtain a loan, making its finances appear better than they are. The filing says that Trump’s financial statements “were generally inflated as part of a pattern to suggest that Mr. Trump’s net worth was higher than it otherwise would have appeared.”
The motion comes in response to the former president’s legal efforts to have a series of subpoenas issued against him, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump overturned. James is requesting an order compelling all three to testify under oath.
According to the complaint, there have been issues with valuations in statements that the Trump Organization has not explained.
According to the attorney general’s office, the value of the former president’s New York City condominium in Trump Tower was based on a claim that the space was 30,000 square feet, although documentation reveals the flat was 10,996 square feet.
According to the petition, former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg admitted in a deposition that this resulted in a $200 million overstatement.
Evidence suggests that the value of land gifts in Los Angeles and Westchester County, New York, was exaggerated, resulting in millions of dollars in deductions, according to James’ office.
The Trump Organization has been contacted by NBC News for comment on the charges leveled against the company, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump. Attorneys representing Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and the former president did not reply to requests for comment over the weekend.
A separate Manhattan district attorney criminal investigation into claims of tax evasion schemes at Trump’s company is being assisted by the state attorney general.
As a result, lawyers representing Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and their father have objected to James’ subpoenas, claiming they are inappropriate.
The state attorney general “is engaged in a criminal investigation that has an active grand jury. It cannot issue subpoenas for testimony under the guise of a civil investigation that will immediately become available” to its own criminal investigation, the Trump attorneys argued in their motion to try and squash the subpoenas.
“They have been investigating this for three years. We are not concerned about it, because he has done nothing wrong,” Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti, stated.