Investigation Into Trump’s Alleged Valuation Fraud Broadens With New AG Filings
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday accused former President Donald Trump's family business of persistently lying about the value of its assets on annual financial statements, tax submissions and other official documents.
The alleged purpose of the misrepresentations was to obtain loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions. James began a civil investigation of The Trump Organization and the Trumps' business practices shortly after assuming office at the beginning of 2019.
That year, Michael Cohen, a former attorney for the Trumps, testified before Congress that Donald Trump inflated the value of his assets to gain financial benefits while deflating their value to decrease real estate taxes.
The real estate assets whose values the company allegedly misstated include, among others, the office building 40 Wall Street; Seven Springs, an estate north of New York City; Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan; and the Trump International Scotland golf course, according to the attorney general.
The AG's accusations came in a court filing that is asking a judge to order Trump and two of his children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., to testify in its ongoing civil fraud investigation.
We have uncovered significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) January 19, 2022
"[The Office of the Attorney General] has identified facts and evidence indicating that the annual financial statements, tax submissions, and other documents under investigation contain material misstatements and omissions," the filing says. "It intends to make a final determination about who is responsible for those misstatements and omissions."
The Trumps have asked the court to quash the New York attorney general's subpoenas demanding their testimony, or at least put them on hold until a separate criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office is concluded.
A Trump Organization spokesperson called the attorney general's allegations baseless, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” the spokesperson said.