New YORK (AP) — The New York attorney general’s office, late on Tuesday, told a judge that its investigation team had discovered evidence that Trump’s firm employed “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations to obtain tax-free loans and other benefits.
The court filing noted that the state authorities aren’t yet deciding whether they will file the civil suit in connection to the allegations. However, they have stated that they must interview Trump and his two eldest children as part of the investigation.
Trump and his attorneys believe that politics have influenced the probe.
In court documents, the attorney general Letitia James’s Office presented the most comprehensive accounting of its probe into claims that Trump’s business frequently misrepresented the value of its assets to obtain favorable terms on loans or to reduce taxes.
It claimed that the Trump Organization, it said it had exaggerated the value of land donations that were made within New York and California on forms submitted to the IRS to justify millions of dollars of tax deductions.
The company erroneously reported that the Trump’s Manhattan penthouse, writing that it was three times larger than it was -the difference being that it was close to $200 million James’ office stated according to the deposition testimony of Trump’s former chief of staff Allen Weisselberg, who was indicted last year for tax fraud in a separate criminal probe.
James’ office outlined the findings of its office in a motion to the court, which seeks to compel Trump as well as the daughter of Ivanka Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. to follow subpoenas for their evidence.
The court papers stated, “developed significant additional evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.”
Comments were sought via messages by lawyers for the Trumps.
Donald Trump’s lawyers have attempted to stop the subpoenas, declaring them “an unprecedented and unconstitutional maneuver.” They argue that James is not legally trying to gather evidence that can later be utilized in the parallel criminal investigation that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg oversees.
Trump filed a lawsuit against James at a federal level in the last month, seeking a halt to the probe. In the case, his lawyers argued that James, who is a Democrat, has violated the constitutional rights of Republicans in the course of a “thinly-veiled effort to malign Trump and his associates publicly.”
In the past, Bragg has in the past Republican former president has criticized James’ probe and Bragg’s inquiry as part of a “witch hunt.”
In a statement released late Tuesday evening, James’ office stated it isn’t yet deciding whether the evidence presented in the court documents of Tuesday merit legal action, but the investigation must continue unimpeded.
“For a lot more than two years, the Trump Organization has used delay tactics and litigation in an attempt to thwart a legitimate investigation into its financial dealings,” James said. “Thus far inside our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit.”
While James’ civil investigation is distinct from the criminal investigation, Her department has participated in both of them, deploying numerous lawyers to work with prosecutors from The Manhattan D.A.’s bureau.
A judge had previously agreed with James in other cases related to the probe, such as having an additional Trump family member, Trump Organization executive Eric Trump be a witness after his lawyers abruptly canceled an upcoming deposition.
In the past year this year, the Manhattan district attorney filed taxes fraud allegations against Trump Organization and Weisselberg, the long-time chief financial officer.
Weisselberg admitted not to be guilty of charges that suggested that the company did not pay taxes on the lavish fringe benefits given to executives.
Both probes are connected to claims made in media reports and the former Trump personal attorney, Michael Cohen, that Trump was known for lying about the value of assets.