“The evidence collected to date suggests that financial statements, tax submissions, loan guarantees, and other documents contain material misstatements and omissions,” the filings made by New York Attorney General Letitia James late Monday said. “These misrepresentations appear to have been aimed at portraying Mr. Trump’s net worth and liquidity as higher than the true facts warranted, to secure economic benefits to which Mr. Trump might not otherwise have been entitled.”
James’ filing in one example said that the Trump Organization’s 2010-2012 statements valued “collectively valued the rent-stabilized units at $49,596,000 – over sixty-six times the $750,000 total value the outside appraiser had assigned to these units,” a footnote in the filing said.
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The court papers, which argue that the evidence suggests the misrepresentations of assets would have “breached contractual covenants, required recalculating the assets’ actual worth, altered the transactions’ risk profile, or caused the businesses to reconsider entering the transactions,” came in response to former President Donald Trump’s appeal of a state court judge’s order that required Trump, along with his two adult children, to submit to interviews under oath.
Earlier this year, Trump and his two children moved to quash the subpoenas from James’ office, arguing that the civil investigation was being conducted to aid a criminal investigation, which James’ office is also involved in. Allowing the testimony in the civil case – which they argued could be used against them in the criminal case – without the protections that New York law would require if they were to testify before a grand jury in a criminal case would set a “dangerous precedent,” according to the Trump Organization’s lawyers.
James said in the filing that she had issued subpoenas to the three individuals “to help reach a final determination about whether there has been civil fraud and who may be responsible for such fraud,” noting that the “civil subpoenas do not compel appellants to provide information that may be used against them in a future criminal case.”
The development is part of a years-long investigation by James of the Trump Organization, spurred by testimony to Congress on what Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen described as misleading asset valuations. The filing notes that James’ office has “received and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents produced by the Trump Organization,” although it says only a handful have come from Trump’s own files.
On Monday, a New York state judge ordered the Trump Organization to comply with James’ subpoena by the end of April. James’ filing concluded that the state Supreme Court’s order directing Trump and his two children to comply with the subpoenas should be affirmed.