New York Attorney General, Letitia James, announced she is suing Donald Trump for “years of financial fraud” according to a press release from her office published on Wednesday. The suit was filed after the New York Times report stating James’ rejection of a settlement regarding her ongoing probe into the Trump Organization.
The suit seeks to prevent Trump and his three eldest children Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump “from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York state.” It would also bar “Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years.”
The suit also demands an estimated $250 million in “persistent fraudulent practices” to be disgorged.
“These acts of fraud and misrepresentation were similar in nature, were committed by upper management at the Trump Organization as part of a common endeavor for each annual Statement, and were approved at the highest levels of the Trump Organization – including by Mr. Trump himself,” the lawsuit says.
Allen Weisselberg, former CFO for the Trump Organization was also named in the suit along with Jeff McConney, another longtime company executive.
James accused the Trump Organization of deceiving lenders, insurers and tax authorities by inflating the value of his properties using misleading appraisals CNN reported. An example of the fraudulent activity given in the suit refers to Mar-a-Lago, which was appraised at $739 million, but should have been at $75 million.
The suit holds the accusation of fraudulent inflation of Trump’s net worth; a goal which was accomplished with the alleged assistance of Mr. Weisselberg.
She also said she would report evidence to the Department of Justice. Trump is currently in another legal battle with the DOJ over the Mar-a-Lago raid in August.
James has been investigating Trump since 2019. She made a promise while she was campaigning to do so. Throughout the investigation, Trump pleaded the fifth amendment right instead of answering questions. The ongoing investigation has been referred to as a “political witch hunt” by members of the Trump family.
James also took to her Twitter account to announce the lawsuit.
Trump’s legal team made a statement regarding the action:
“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,” Alina Habba, one of Trump’s attorneys, said. “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.”