NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing former President Donald Trump over alleged business fraud.
Trump’s eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.
“Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us. He did this with the help of the other defendants, his children,” James said Wednesday.
The attorney general’s office has been investigating Trump and his business dealings for the past three years. James has said he misrepresented the value of his properties to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks.
“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,” she said.
James wants Trump removed from any businesses engaged in the alleged fraud, and wants an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s compliance, financial reporting, valuations and disclosures to lenders, insurers and tax authorities for no less than five years.
She is also seeking to replace the current trustees of Trump’s revocable trust, which controls his business interests, with independent trustees, to bar Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into commercial real estate acquisitions for five years, from obtaining loans from banks in New York for five years and permanently bar Trump and his three eldest children from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State.
She also wants to permanently bar Weisselberg and McConney from serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State.
James said her investigation also uncovered potential criminal violations, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud, conspiracy and bank fraud. She said her office is referring those findings to federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service.
In a statement on Truth Social, Trump responded, calling it “another witch hunt” by a “racist.”
“Another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James, who failed in her run for Governor, getting almost zero support from the public, and now is doing poorly against Law & Order A.G. candidate, highly respected Michael Henry. I never thought this case would be brought – until I saw her really bad poll numbers. She is a fraud who campaigned on a ‘get Trump platform, despite the fact that the city is one of the crime and murder disasters of the world under her watch!” Trump posted.
An attorney for Trump said the lawsuit is “neither focused on the facts nor the law.”
“Rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s 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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Stick with CBS2, CBS News New York and CBSNewYork.com for more on this developing story.
Source: CBS Minnesota
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