September 24, 2022

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued former President Donald Trump, his three oldest adult children and a number of companies, organizations and individuals associated with his eponymous real estate and licensing business following a three-year civil investigation into allegations of fraud.

“After a comprehensive, three-year investigation by my office, including witness interviews with more than 65 witnesses and a review of millions of documents provided by Mr. Trump and others, I am announcing today that we are filing a lawsuit against Donald Trump for breaking the law as part of his efforts to make a profit for himself. , my family and my company,” Ms. James said during a press conference Wednesday to announce the civil suit.

Ms James said the twice-impeached former president had “conned us all” by “falsely inflating his net worth by billions of dollars to enrich himself unjustly and cheat the system”. She added that he did it with the help of his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, as well as former Trump Organization CEO Allen Weisselberg and the controller of the Trump Organization.

“This wasn’t ‘The Art of the Deal,’ this was the Art of the Steal,” James said, referring to Trump’s best-known book.

The complaint alleges that the former president, with the help of his children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. made false statements in several applications in an effort to obtain tax breaks and other benefits from insurers and financial institutions.

Ms. James alleges that the Trump Organization and its representatives made more than 200 false and misleading valuations of her assets over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2021.

She described multiple “statements of financial condition” prepared by his former accounting firm – at his behest – as “exaggerated, grossly inflated, objectively false, and therefore fraudulent and illegal”.

She said Mr Trump, his family and his companies “should all be held accountable”.

“That is the purpose of this litigation that we are pursuing today in addition to referring punitive conduct to the Southern District of New York as well as the IRS,” she said. “No one… is above the law”.

The suit seeks to recover $250 million in lost revenue and penalties, as well as a court order that would have permanently barred the Trumps from holding any offices in state businesses.

The civil suit against Mr Trump, his family and his businesses is the latest legal challenge for the former president, who is currently facing criminal investigations by grand juries in multiple jurisdictions.

Mr. Trump has frequently accused Ms. James and her office in countless public statements and has characterized her efforts — and those of other state and federal law enforcement agencies — as politically motivated investigations designed only to damage him politically and advance Ms. James. . own career.

The lawsuit comes just weeks before several Trump companies are set to go on trial for criminal tax violations in a Manhattan courtroom. Mr. Weisselberg, a former CFO of the Trump Organization, is expected to testify against his employer under plea deals he reached to resolve his own criminal tax charges.

Responding to the complaint, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted “bulls*** The witch hunt continues.”

More to come…

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