The New York state attorney general filed a sweeping lawsuit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump, three of his adult children and the Trump Organization, alleging they were involved in an expansive fraud lasting over a decade that the former President used to enrich himself.
In the more than 200-page lawsuit, Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, alleges the fraud touched all aspects of the Trump business, including its properties and golf courses. According to the lawsuit, the Trump Organization deceived lenders, insurers and tax authorities by inflating the value of his properties using misleading appraisals.
“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 states.
Trump and his children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Allen Weisselberg, former CFO for the Trump Organization, and Jeff McConney, another longtime company executive, are also named.
James said she believes state and criminal laws may have been violated and referred the matter to the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.
James is seeking $250 million in allegedly ill-gotten funds and to permanently bar Trump and the children named in the lawsuit from serving as the director of a business registered in New York state. She is also seeking to cancel the Trump Organization’s corporate certificate, which, if granted by a judge, could effectively force the company to cease operations in New York state.
Trump previously called James a “renegade prosecutor” who he said is running a “vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition.” The Trump Organization called her previously allegations “baseless” and denied any wrongdoing.
The civil lawsuit comes as Trump is under increasing legal pressure as prosecutors are taking investigative steps that move ever closer to his inner circle.
Trump is facing numerous criminal investigations from federal and state prosecutors involving the accuracy of his company’s financial statements, interference in the 2020 presidential election, and his handling of classified documents after leaving office. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
The announcement is the latest development in what has been a three-year investigation led by James into the Trump Organization’s finances.
In January, James’ office said it found “significant” evidence indicating the Trump Organization used false or …read more
Source:: The Mercury News