Politics /

New York Attorney General Sues Trump, Alleges Persistent Pattern of Fraud

Attorneys For Trump Family Say the Lawsuit Is Politically Motivated

New York State’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, alleging fraud that prosecutors argue was conducted for a decade.

The complaint was filed after a three-year investigation by the state’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG), led by Attorney General Letitia James.

Other defendants named in the lawsuit are Allen Weisselberg (Chief Financial Officer for the Trump Organization), Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.

In the legal filing, prosecutors allege that the upper management of several Trump organizations engaged in the preparation of fraudulent statements to inflate Trump’s net worth by billions of dollars, and used “false and misleading statements repeatedly and persistently to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available” to the business.

James said in a press conference that the OAG is issuing criminal referrals to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Prosecutors are also petitioning the court to, among other things, permanently bar Trump, Trump Jr., Ivanka and Eric from serving as an officer or director in any corporation or similar entity registered and/or licensed in New York. In addition, they seek to bar Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York State commercial real estate acquisition, or from applying for loans from any financial institution in New York, for a period of five years.

Trump Jr. responded to the announcement on Twitter with a screenshot showing James trailing her Republican challenger, stating she’s “desperately trying to fire up her leftwing base with this BS. This is ALL politics, nothing more.”

In a separate post, he linked a video showing James suggesting to a supporter in 2018 that, if elected, she would use her office to go after the Trump family.

James, a Democrat, who other sources confirm built her 2018 campaign around a promise to target and investigate Trump and his business dealings, also alleges in her legal filing that the Trump Organization procured inflated appraisals of multiple properties in order to financially benefit.

“Mr. Trump and the Trump organization repeatedly and persistently manipulated the value of assets to induce banks, to lend money to the Trump organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company to pay lower taxes, to satisfy continuing loan agreements and to induce insurance companies, to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums,” James told reporters.

“This conduct was all in violation of executive law § 63(12), which gives the attorney general broad and special powers to go after persistent and repeated fraud and illegality as part of demonstrating illegality,” she said. “Under that section of law § 63(12), we show that they violated several state criminal laws, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud, and engaging in a conspiracy to commit each of these state law violations.”

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said the lawsuit is devoid of facts, is not guided by law, and serves to simply advance James’ political agenda.

“It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place,” Habba said. “We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”

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