By now, you’ve probably heard the news that on Wednesday morning, the New York Attorney General Leticia James filed a major lawsuit against Donald Trump, his three eldest children and the Trump Organization, alleging more than a decade of “haunting” fraud that allowed the family to rake in hundreds of millions in ill-gotten gains. In a 222-page document, James accused the defendants of spending years systematically lying about the value of their assets to secure bigger loans, better insurance rates and lower taxes. For example, according to the lawsuit, while 40 Wall Street, a downtown building owned by the Trump Organization, was valued at $200 million on a 2010 income tax return, the following year, the valuation suddenly skyrocketed to $524 million. In total, the complaint alleges that the defendants made more than 200 false and misleading assessments from 2011 to 2021, some of which were made during the Trump presidency. “The pattern of fraud that was used by Trump and the Trump organization was staggering,” James told reporters, noting that for ordinary people, it is illegal to lie to banks to secure loans, whether for mortgages or to send their children to college. . “There can’t be different rules for different people in this country or this state,” she said. The AG office is seeking $250 million in damages and permanently banning the former president, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump of never having a business in New York again, among other penalties.
At this point, you probably have doubts. Fortunately, we have answers.
How exactly did the fraud alleged by James work?
Honestly, it was pretty simple: they (supposedly) just made up shit, and very boldly. For example, Trump’s triplex in Trump Tower is 10,996 square feet. But in 2015, he said claimed was roughly 3 times larger to warrant a completely ridiculous valuation of $327 million. (“That price was preposterous, given the fact that at that time only one apartment in New York City had sold for $100 million, at a price per square foot of less than $10,000, and that sale was in a newly built, ultra tall tower,” James’ office said. “At the 30-year-old Trump Tower, the record sale at the time was just $16.5 million at a price of less than $4,500 per square foot .”) On Trump Park Avenue, the man with his name on the prized door, by James, “12 units with stabilized rent at market price, inflating the value by 65 times”. At Mar-a-Lago, his for-profit Palm Beach club and home, Trump said the property was worth $739 million when it’s actually worth about a tenth of that due to restrictions on development (and, we’re guessing, ketchup stains that are impossible to remove from carpets). At a Westchester golf club, a rating was generated taking into account high initiation rates that were never collected. The lawsuit includes several other examples of what the AG office says are false financial records, including one in which Trump allegedly inflated his wealth on financial statements that were provided to Deutsche Bank when he was trying to buy the Buffalo Bills.
They say that children must not pay for their father’s sins. Are Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric being unfairly involved in all of this? Are they really just innocent children we should all take a break from?
[Author flashes the “give me a minute sign” while she catches her breath from laughing.]
In a word, no. In several words: No! We will! According to James, Trump’s three eldest sons — all of whom served as company executives — “knowingly participated” in the fraudulent schemes presented in the complaint, which “required” both Trump and his assistance to carry out such a massive action. scale. In Vegas, for example, the lawsuit accuses Eric Trump of using “the fraudulent valuation methods and assumptions” established by the AG to inflate the value of Trump Vegas every year from 2013 to 2016. Donald Trump Jr. Park Avenue scam. Ivanka, the former president’s frightening eyeball, was allegedly involved in obtaining loans to purchase properties in Florida and Chicago in 2012, loans that were issued in part due to false financial statements. “In each of these transactions with Deutsche Bank, Ms. Trump was aware that the transactions included a personal guarantee from Mr. Trump that required him to provide Statements of Financial Status and annual certifications,” the lawsuit reads.
You referred to Trump’s “adult children” but left out Tiffany, who is 28. Was she also sued?
She was not. Tiffany has never worked for the Trump Organization, and while she may have felt left out of the family as a child, it’s obviously paying off now.
Where was Trump when he heard about the lawsuit?
This is not clear at this point; probably trying to intercept the mail before his housekeeper could open the penis enlargement pills he had ordered from China a week earlier, even though he TOLD everyone he had something PRIVATE coming up and they were NOT to go through his stuff.
How is this linked to the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal case against the Trump Organization?
The cases are separate but have some overlap. Both offices opened parallel investigations into the suspicion that the Trump Organization had committed fraud, and in 2021, the attorney general’s office joined the prosecution’s criminal investigation. In July 2021, the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were criminally charged by the DA for engaging in a year-long scheme to enrich the company’s executives with non-cash benefits on which taxes were not paid. Last month, Weisselberg pleaded guilty and, as part of that deal, will have to testify against the Trump Organization, which has pleaded not guilty, in a trial set for October.
In his Wednesday filing, James said his lawsuit is based in part on Trump’s alleged instructions to Weisselberg to inflate his assets in the financial statements. Weisselberg, along with another Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney, defendants were also named.
If James’ lawsuit is civil, does that mean the Trumps don’t have to worry about jail time?
Not exactly! While it is true that James’ office does not have the authority to criminally prosecute the Trumps, she has forwarded her findings to federal prosecutors and the IRS and noted that in addition to allegedly violating various state criminal laws, they “plausibly” broke criminal law. federal too.
In related news, the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Wednesday that its “criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization and its leadership is active and ongoing.”
Is there any overlap with the investigation of classified documents?
You know, you wouldn’t think there would be, but actually, yes. In the suit, James’ office said believes that tax records seized as part of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago operation may have been purposefully hidden from them. Synergies!