New York AG sues Trump, firm, and family members for fraud, Former President Donald Trump, three of his adult children, and the Trump Organization have been sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accuses them of widespread financial fraud and seeks to prohibit them from engaging in real estate deals for the next five years.
The attorney general has filed a civil claim against Trump, alleging that he has been dishonest with banks, insurers, and government agencies for over a decade in an effort to reduce his business’s tax liability. The alleged fraud includes billions of dollars in inflated net worth.
It is asking for a five-year ban on the participation of the former president, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump in any real estate transactions, which would effectively put an end to the Trump real estate empire and the $250 million in illegal profits they allegedly made from the scheme. As an added measure, it seeks to permanently exclude the ex-president and his family members involved in his business ventures from acting as directors or executives of any corporation or business licensed in New York.
James is suing under a law that applies specifically to repeated infractions arising from property deals. She is also reporting the same claims of illegal behavior to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and of tax fraud to the Internal Revenue Service.
At a press appearance in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, James said, “I’m announcing that today we’re initiating a lawsuit against Donald Trump for breaching the law in his efforts to make profits for himself, his family, and his organization.” The case shows that Trump lied about his wealth by billions of dollars to benefit himself unfairly and to game the system, which hurts us all.
“The pattern of deceit that was used by Mr. Trump and the Trump company was amazing,” James continued.
From claims that Trump inflated his net worth in an effort to buy the Buffalo Bills to his successful bid to build a hotel in the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C., which became a prominent hive of pro-Trump activity during his presidency and netted $100 million when it was sold in May, the lawsuit includes dozens of examples of allegedly false financial filings.
It’s only the tip of the iceberg of wrongdoing we’ve unearthed,” James said. It’s incredible how often Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization lied and cheated to enrich themselves financially.
James stated during her press conference that Trump’s lawyers recently sought a settlement, which her office rejected, but that the extensive remedies she is seeking — subject to permission by a state court judge — would destroy many of Trump’s businesses. She did say, though, that her group was open to hearing new ideas for closing the matter.
The attorney general has stated, “Our door is open.”
James’s move is the most recent in a cascade of legal troubles that the former president faces, and it may not even be the most pressing, given the numerous investigations and trials that are rapidly closing in on him and other people in his inner circle.
It was during this same week that the former president’s lawyers were battling in federal court to prevent an investigation into the finding of highly sensitive national security papers at his Mar-a-Lago residence, which was the subject of the current litigation filed by the New York attorney general. An election-related investigation by a grand jury in the Atlanta region has reached a pivotal stage, and federal prosecutors are also bringing in former Trump advisers and allies to a grand jury investigating his efforts to disrupt the 2020 election.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has recently gotten a guilty plea and agreement with the company’s former CFO Allen Weisselberg to testify in a criminal fraud case against the Trump Organization that will be tried next month. However, James claims that her current lawsuit is supported by evidence that includes Trump’s orders to Weisselberg to falsify financial statements, despite the fact that the former president was not charged in the original case.
After the newly elected district attorney apparently balked at pressing criminal charges against Trump and the high-powered prosecutors who had overseen that investigation retired earlier this year, Bragg’s effort to bring criminal charges against Trump appeared to collapse. On Wednesday, though, Bragg reaffirmed his earlier claims that the investigation is progressing rapidly.
The district attorney has stated that an ongoing criminal investigation of former president Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization, and its leadership is underway.
Trump had lost a series of judicial battles that sought to prevent his deposition in the NY AG’s case. A spokesperson for James stated that when he was ultimately brought in for questioning last month, he used the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination more than 440 times.
Trump said in a statement that he had to take the Fifth because “my family, my business, and everyone in my orbit has become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media.” This was despite his repeated insistence that doing so would indicate guilt.