New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a massive lawsuit on September 21 against the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, his three eldest children, and the Trump Organization. This was the result of her years of civil investigation into the Trump Company's business practices. NBC News.
The lawsuit is over 200 pages long. In it, James's office details Trump's allegedly illegal attempts to increase his personal wealth and lists more than 200 alleged scams over 10 years.
James is seeking a ban on the Trump family from holding positions as officers or directors of any New York company and from acquiring commercial property in the state for five years. She also seeks about $250 million in punitive damages.
“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have acted as if the rules don’t apply to them,” James said in a statement. -Donald Trump stands out as one of the most egregious examples of misconduct. With the help of his children and senior leaders of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely increased his net worth by billions of dollars. He got rich unjustly and cheated the system.”
James' office said the former president made fraudulent and misleading statements. Trump made it clear through Allen Weisselberg, the former CFO of the Trump Organization, that he wanted his net worth to increase every year. And used the financial statements to fraudulently increase his net worth by billions of dollars every year.
Trump and his company falsely claimed that their statements were prepared in consultation with outside experts. James added that the statements grossly violated generally accepted accounting principles. These violations include testifying that Trump had cash that he didn't have, ignoring critical restrictions that would have significantly lowered property values when setting valuations, changing valuation methodology from year to year. As well as the use of different methods for different real estate objects, even in the same year, and including intangible assets when making calculations.
What did Trump violate, according to James
Trump and his family allegedly repeatedly manipulated asset values to encourage banks to lend money to the organization on better terms. For example, the former president overpriced the square footage of his three-story Trump Tower apartment.
“Mr Trump said his suite was over 30 square feet. This served as the basis for appraising the apartment,” she said. “Actually, the apartment was less than 000 square feet. Mr. Trump was well aware of this.”
When asked during a press conference if she was ready to reach a settlement, James refused to negotiate publicly. But she confirmed a New York Times report last week that her office had rejected a settlement offer.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said they were aware of the direction of the criminal case from James's office. But he declined to comment further.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his office's criminal investigation into the former president and his company is ongoing.