NY attorney general details possible fraud at Donald Trump’s family business
NY attorney general details possible fraud at Donald Trump’s family business

NEW YORK: New York state's attorney general has accused Donald Trump's family business of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to obtain financial benefits, citing what it said was significant new evidence of possible fraud.

The accusations by Attorney General Letitia James mark a substantial escalation of her civil probe into the Republican former US president's business, the Trump Organization, and the roles of his adult children.

They are part of her effort to force Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump to comply with her subpoenas to testify under oath, which the family has asked a judge to block.

Neither Trump nor his children have been accused of criminal wrongdoing. While James cannot file criminal charges because her probe is civil, she can sue the Trumps and the company.

Trump has called the nearly three-year probe by James, a Democrat, a political "witch hunt."

In filings late Tuesday with a New York state court in Manhattan, James described what she called misleading statements about the values of six Trump properties, as well as the "Trump Brand."

The properties are golf clubs in Aberdeen, Scotland, and suburban Westchester County near New York City, the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester, buildings on Wall Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, and Trump's penthouse in Trump Tower.

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James has been investigating whether real estate values were inflated to obtain bank loans and reduced to lower tax bills.

Her filing described evidence of misstatements to lenders, insurers and the Internal Revenue Service. James wants a judge to order the Trumps to testify within 21 days.

"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," James said in a statement.

"The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them," she added.

‘Unfounded Attacks’

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, in a statement called James' accusations "merely the latest in a long line of unfounded attacks against my client and an obvious attempt to distract the public from her own inappropriate conduct. Letitia, you are not above the law."

The Trump Organization in a statement said it will defend against James' "baseless" accusations, accusing her of twisting the facts and misleading the public because she faces "the stark reality that she has no case."

James' probe also partially overlaps a criminal probe by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which

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