The New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against former Republican President Donald Trump. The lawsuit alleges that he unlawfully inflated his net worth to acquire loans and other benefits worth millions of dollars. On Wednesday, a lawsuit alleging fraud and misrepresentation was filed in Manhattan state court accusing the Trump Organization of making false statements about Trump’s financial position from 2011 to 2021.
On Wednesday, New York’s attorney general sued the former US president and his adult children for numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation. They were accused of understating the value of their real estate properties to qualify for favorable loans and tax benefits.#NYAttorney pic.twitter.com/xzk17BSkKQ
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 22, 2022
Among the defendants are Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter. Using his children to help him, Trump unlawfully inflates and deflates his net worth several times to get loans, obtain insurance benefits, and reduce taxes, New York Attorney General Letitia James stated on Twitter. Briefly, Trump lied to acquire substantial financial advantages for himself.
With the help of Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and other defendants, Trump variously unlawfully inflated and deflated his net worth by billions to obtain and satisfy loans, get insurance benefits, and pay lower taxes.
In short, he lied to gain massive financial benefits for himself.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) September 21, 2022
Furthermore, James stated that allegations of criminal misconduct would be referred to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Internal Revenue Service. The former president denied transgression and characterized the investigation into his business practices as a politically motivated witch hunt. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization has described the allegations as “baseless.”
Biggest Legal Blows
Wednesday’s lawsuit represents one of Trump’s most significant legal blows since he stepped down from office in January 2021. This decision follows a long and contentious legal battle waged by the New York Attorney General. As part of James’s investigation, his office has spent more than three years examining whether Trump Organization properties were valued inaccurately or misleadingly on annual financial statements given to potential business partners, financial institutions, and tax authorities.
In a statement, the attorney general’s office said that Trump intended to burnish his reputation and increase the value of his properties to gain an advantage. The company also said that it had understated the value of assets at other times to avoid paying taxes on them. Additionally, James has accused the former president, his company, and some family members of engaging in delay tactics to avoid being forced to testify under subpoenas.
Trump invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 400 times during a lengthy, closed-door deposition at the attorney general’s office on 10th August. Testimony before a federal judge in 2020 provided more than 500 instances of Eric Trump invoking his right against self-incrimination. Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump agreed to take depositions only after court orders required them to do so.
As of Wednesday, a lawyer for Trump rejected the lawsuit filed by the state of New York as neither focusing on the facts nor the law but instead serving only to advance the political agenda of the Attorney General. “The Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its authority by investigating transactions in which there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” Alina Habba stated.
Trump Slammed the Lawsuit
Trump also called James “a racist” and “a fraud” in a post on his social media network; however, he did not directly address these allegations. In response, the attorney general defended the Twitter filing, stating, “There is not a dual system of law in America: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday citizens.”
As part of the US Department of Justice investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified materials, documents were seized from his Florida estate this month while Trump is expected to seek re-election in 2024. In addition, the state of Georgia has initiated a criminal investigation into the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results that he lost to Joe Biden, and there is an investigation underway by a Congressional committee into his role in the riot at the United States Capitol on 6th January 2021.
As part of his lawsuit, James seeks to permanently ban Trump and his three children from serving as officers or directors in any New York corporation. In addition, the Trump Organization will be prohibited from engaging in any commercial real estate transactions in New York for five years. Disgorgement of all financial benefits obtained fraudulently has been awarded – estimated to total $250 million.
As part of another criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the Trump Organization has been charged with tax fraud and is preparing to go to trial on 24th October. Earlier this year, the company’s ex-chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty and will testify against the company in James’ suit.