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Cushman & Wakefield Appeals Judge's Order To Turn Over Appraisal Documents

The office building at 40 Wall St., branded as The Trump Building, is being scrutinized as one of the properties in a possible tax fraud case.

Cushman & Wakefield is appealing a New York judge's ruling compelling the brokerage firm to turn over documents related to the state attorney general's investigation into The Trump Organization.

It is the latest update in a years-long investigation spearheaded by New York Attorney General Letitia James to determine whether former President Donald Trump and The Trump Organization committed fraud by misrepresenting the value of several properties, including in New York's Westchester CountyManhattan and Los Angeles County in California.

Specifically, Cushman & Wakefield is contesting Judge Arthur Engoron's ruling that it must comply with subpoenas to produce appraisals for non-Trump properties the AG's office considers comparable to three Trump appraisals under investigation. The brokerage argues the documents requested "would compromise the private information of nearly 1,000 Cushman & Wakefield clients."

"The Attorney General’s Office possesses all documents related to our former appraisal work for the Trump Organization properties involved in this investigation," a Cushman & Wakefield spokesperson said in a statement. "We believe the evidence is clear that Cushman’s appraisers exercised independent judgment and frequently refused or rejected suggestions from The Trump Organization or its outside counsel."

The subpoena would apply to "tens of thousands of pages of documents," Cushman & Wakefield alleged, and the brokerage said complying with the subpoena would compromise its clients' privacy and trust.

“The evidence shows that Cushman was as wrapped up in misstatements by Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization as almost any other entity,” Assistant Attorney General Austin Thompson told Engoron on April 25, The Daily Beast reports.

Cushman & Wakefield is seeking a hearing from the state's appellate court to rehear its arguments regarding the appraisals for non-Trump clients. 

"While we are filing this appeal out of an obligation to protect the privacy of our clients and preserve the integrity our client relationships, we wish to continue working with the Office of the Attorney General and hope for a swift and successful conclusion to the investigation," the firm's spokesperson said.