Fraud case against Trump, his children filed

Wajid Ali Syed
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

WASHINGTON: The New York state attorney general has filed a lawsuit against former US president Donald Trump, his children and organisation for engaging in years of financial fraud.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that from 2011 to 2021, Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organisation intentionally created more than 200 misleading valuations of assets in his annual statements of financial condition to defraud financial institutions.

“The statements of financial condition were greatly exaggerated, grossly inflated, objectively false, and therefore fraudulent and illegal,” the attorney general said in her press brief, maintaining that Trump, his family and organisation should be held accountable.

As part of the lawsuit, the office of the attorney general is seeking $250 million in allegedly ill-gotten funds and to permanently bar Trump and his children named in the lawsuit from serving as director in a business registered in the state of New York.

The OAG is also seeking to cancel the Trump Organisation’s corporate certificate, which can force the company to cease operations in the New York state. According to the press statement released by the OAG, “Donald Trump, with the help of his children Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, and senior executives at the Trump Organisation, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money on more favourable terms, satisfy continuing loan covenants, induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums and gain tax benefits, among other things.”

This conduct was in violation of the New York Executive Law 63 (12) which gives the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) special and broad powers to go after persistent fraud and illegality, which in this case includes violating other state laws prohibiting the submission of false financial statements, falsification of business records and the commission of insurance fraud.

As a consequence of these violations, the attorney general’s office is seeking to permanently bar the Trumps from serving as officers or directors in any New York corporation or a similar business entity licensed in the New York state and bars them from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years and award disgorgement of all financial benefits obtained through persistent fraudulent practices, estimated to total $250 million.

In conjunction with the lawsuit, the OAG has referred the matter to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for criminal investigations.

“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them. Donald Trump stands out among the most egregious examples of this misconduct,” James said and added: “With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organisation, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system.

In fact, the very foundation of his purported net worth is rooted in incredible fraud and illegality. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends. There are not two sets of laws for people in this country; we must hold former presidents to the same standards as everyday Americans. I will continue to ensure that no one is able to evade the law, because no one is above it.”