October 6, 2022

A BFD: NY AG Letitia James’s lawsuit against Trump and fam is a doozy

A BFD: NY AG Letitia James's lawsuit against Trump and fam is a doozy

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New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Wednesday morning that she had filed suit again Donald Trump, his three eldest children, and their family business, the Trump Organization, for fraud.

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James’ lawsuit alleges that “Donald Trump, with the help of his children Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and senior executives at the Trump Organization, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization.”

“From 2011-2021, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization knowingly and intentionally created more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets on his annual Statements of Financial Condition to defraud financial institutions,” the lawsuit alleges.

During the Attorney General’s three-year investigation, James’ office found that Trump, and those acting on his behalf, knowingly lied on the Trump Organization’s yearly Statement of Financial Condition. Trump was responsible for preparing the statements prior to 2016 when it fell to trustees Don Jr. and former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, according to the press release.

James detailed examples of the ex-President’s financial manipulations, like inflating the value of his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate nearly 10-fold.

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“This property was valued as high as $739 million based on the false premise that it was unrestricted property and could be developed and sold for residential use, even though Mr. Trump himself signed deeds donating his residential development rights, sharply restricting changes to the property, and limiting the permissible use of the property to a social club. In reality, the club generated annual revenues of less than $25 million and should have been valued at closer to $75 million,” James said of Mar-a-Lago.

The civil lawsuit seeks $250 million in reimbursement for the unearned gains, to remove Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Don Jr., and Eric Trump from their positions within the Trump Organization and bar them from holding positions of officer or director, appoint a trustee to oversee business dealings for the next decade, and prevent them from applying for loans for the next five years, or purchasing commercial real estate for the same time frame.

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Letitia James has been steadfast in her investigation, refusing to be deterred by Trump’s name-calling or his baseless accusations that the civil probe is a “witch hunt” and that the NY prosecutor is politically biased and racist. The NY Attorney General has made it clear that this lawsuit is about the rule of law and accountability, saying in the press release:

“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them. Donald Trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct,” said Attorney General James. “With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system. In fact, the very foundation of his purported net worth is rooted in incredible fraud and illegality. Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends. There are not two sets of laws for people in this country; we must hold former presidents to the same standards as everyday Americans. I will continue to ensure that no one is able to evade the law because no one is above it.”

The NY AG’S office has made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice.

Read the lawsuit here.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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