Donald Trump, his three children sued by New York firm for business fraud

NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing former President Donald Trump, his three adult children and executives of his company of blatantly manipulating property valuations to defraud lenders, insurance Brokers and tax authorities so they can get better bank rates. loans and insurance policies, and reduce their tax liability.

The 222-page civil complaint asks the New York Supreme Court to bar Trump, as well as Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump as executives of any company in New York, and ban the Trump Organization Acquire any commercial real estate or obtain a five-year loan from any New York-registered financial institution.

It seeks to recover more than $250 million in ill-gotten gains that James’ office said were obtained through alleged fraud. While the lawsuit itself is not a criminal complaint, James (D) said she has referred possible violations of federal law to the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service.

Trump attorney Alina Haba dismissed the allegations as politically motivated and said in a statement that the attorney general’s claims were “baseless.”

Read the lawsuit against Donald Trump, his 3 children and the Trump Organization

The lawsuit, filed in the New York Supreme Court, is the result of more than two years of James’ investigation and lists 23 properties in the Trump Organization’s portfolio, including his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, his Westchester estate. The Seven Springs estate in New York County and the Washington, D.C. hotel he leased from the federal government until he sold it in May.

“The inflated valuation of assets in the statement cannot be ignored or excused simply because a reasonable real estate professional might have a different result of an exaggerated or bona fide estimate,” it said.

That adds to a deepening list of legal challenges Trump faces more than 18 months after leaving the White House, while he remains active in Republican politics and has widely suggested he will run for president again in 2024.

In addition to personally naming Trump and his three children, the lawsuit names the Trump Organization and Alan Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime chief financial officer who recently pleaded guilty to tax crimes, and controller Jeffrey McConney.

Status of key investigation involving Donald Trump

Trump and his lawyers have argued that James’ investigation was politically motivated and have repeatedly said Trump and his family did nothing illegal in running their businesses. Pointing to statements made by James during the campaign that he promised to investigate him, Trump called her investigation a “witch hunt.”

“Today’s document focuses neither on the facts nor the law — but only on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” Alina Haba, one of Trump’s lawyers, said in a statement Wednesday morning. We trust that our judicial system will not tolerate this unchecked abuse of power, and we look forward to defending our clients against every baseless charge of the Attorney General.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

O’Connell reported from Washington.

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