Trump's Accountant Says Decade Of Records Unreliable, Cuts Ties With Former President
Former President Donald Trump’s long-serving accountant has said it will no longer work with Trump and his company and that it can't guarantee the veracity of the financial statements it has prepared over the last decade.
Mazars USA told The Trump Organization by letter last week to retract its statements of financial condition filed between 2011 and 2020, according to a filing from New York Attorney General Letitia James in her office's ongoing investigation of the former president's New York-based family business.
"We write to advise that the Statements of Financial Condition for Donald J. Trump for the years ending June 30, 2011 – June 30, 2020, should no longer be relied upon and you should inform any recipients thereof who are currently relying upon one or more of those documents that those documents should not be relied upon," William Kelly, the general counsel for Mazars USA, wrote in the letter.
Kelly wrote that Mazars had based its decision on its own investigation, court filings submitted by New York Attorney General James last month and information from external and internal sources.
James has sued the Trump Organization, claiming it has lied about the value of its assets on annual financial statements, tax submissions and other official documents. James' investigation turned up evidence that the company distorted the value of its properties to obtain loans, insurance coverage and lower its property taxes.
Kelly's letter, addressed to Trump Organization Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten, said that while the firm had not found material discrepancies "as a whole," it now has a "non-waivable conflict" in representing Trump.
"At this point, we are not able to provide any new work product to the Trump Organization," Kelly wrote.
He added that Mazars was still waiting on the tax return filings of the former president and first lady, which are due Feb. 15, and could assess a late fee of $10K if they aren't filed in time.
In a statement to The New York Times, a Trump Organization spokesperson said that while the company was disappointed with Mazars’ decision, it viewed the letter as confirmation that the firm’s “work was performed in accordance with all applicable accounting standards and principles and that such statements of financial condition do not contain any material discrepancies.”
James began a civil investigation of the Trumps' business practices shortly after taking office in 2019. James now wants the court to force Trump and two of his children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., to face questioning under oath as part of the investigation.
On Monday she filed a “cross reply” with the court to compel them to talk, saying that they have not addressed the facts her office has leveled against them.
“As the most recent filings demonstrate, the evidence continues to mount showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit,” James said in a statement. “There should be no doubt that this is a lawful investigation and that we have legitimate reason to seek testimony from Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump. We will continue to follow the facts and ensure that no one is above the law.”
Trump’s company is also facing a criminal investigation. Then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. charged Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg last year with grand larceny over the alleged receipt of approximately $1.76M in indirect employee compensation from the Trump Organization, and he charged the company itself with fraud. Both pleaded not guilty. That matter is set to go to trial this year.