NEW YORK – A suit filed by the New York attorney general on Wednesday alleges that Donald Trump and his family members lied for years to tax collectors, lenders, and insurers to enrich themselves.
According to top state prosecutor Letitia James, Trump provided false asset valuations and false statements of his net worth “to get loans, get insurance benefits, and pay lower taxes with the help of his children and others at the Trump Organization.” “In short, he lied to gain massive financial benefits for himself.”Letitia James
A wide-ranging investigation is one of many criminal, civil, and congressional investigations about Trump, who has set his sights on a 2024 bid for the presidency.
Trump’s spokesperson dismissed the suit as a political move by Democrats against the Republican businessman, repeating his oft-used defense that it is “another witch hunt.”
A request from James’ office suggests that the former president pay at least $250 million in penalties – a sum she claims he made through the fraud — as well as that his family be banned from running businesses in the state. Additionally, she urged that Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump be prohibited from purchasing property in the state for five years.
“The very foundation of his purported net worth is rooted in incredible fraud and illegality,” James said in a statement. In reference to Trump’s book “The Art of Deal,” she stated that “Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends.”
Based on the three-year investigation, James’ office, which does not have the authority to file criminal charges, referred the case to the US Justice Department as well as the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the lawsuit, Trump’s annual financial statements for at least a decade have “grossly inflated” property values — from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to the Trump Tower in Manhattan — to a “staggering degree”.
According to James, who is running for re-election this November, “he did so to secure favorable loans with lower interest rates and premiums.”
It was determined by her office that Trump and his associates provided more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets.
The lawsuit detailed ways in which Trump and his associates fabricated that he had cash on hand, changed the value of properties wildly, and used “objectively false numbers to calculate the value of his famous Fifth Avenue triplex.”
James stated that one of the alleged crimes was overvaluing 12 rent-stabilized units at market rate in his Trump Park Avenue property by 65 times.