New York's attorney general sued former President Trump and his company on Wednesday, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, is the culmination of the Democrat's three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization. Trump's three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney, reports the AP. Among her office's allegations, per tweets from @NewYorkStateAG:
- "Actions have consequences. We're seeking to: Make Trump pay $250 million. Ban the Trumps from running NY businesses for good. Ban Trump and Trump Org from buying commercial real estate in NY for 5 yrs. We're making a criminal referral to the US Dept of Justice."
- "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."
- "We found that Trump, his family, and the Trump Org used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations over 200 times in 10 years on his annual financial statements. These statements were then used to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and insurance coverage."
- In a press release, James provides an example of the alleged misconduct: Trump's personal triplex apartment in Trump Tower, which measured 10,996 square feet, was valued as being 30,000 square feet. "As a result, in 2015 the apartment was valued at $327 million in total, or $29,738 per square foot. That price was absurd given the fact that at that point only one apartment in New York City had ever sold for even $100 million, at a price per square foot of less than $10,000, and that sale was in a newly built, ultra-tall tower. In 30-year-old Trump Tower, the record sale at that time was a mere $16.5 million at a price of less than $4,500 per square foot."
- A response from Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump: "Today's filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law—rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General's political agenda. It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General's Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place. We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General's meritless claims."
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