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Monday, December 09, 2019

Massive Civil Fraud Lawsuit Hits Trump’s Inflated Real Estate Empire

New York Attorney General Letitia James

Youtube Screenshot

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a $250 million civil lawsuit against Donald J. Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., as well as two Trump executives, Allan Weisselberg and Jeff McConney, for “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentations,” and seeks to bar any of the Trumps from operating a company in the state of New York ever, or from engaging in any commercial real estate transactions in the state for five years.

“I’m announcing that today we’re filing a lawsuit against Donald Trump for violating the law as part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family, his company,” James said Wednesday morning. “The complaint demonstrates that Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us.”


The tweet thread beginning here from AG James lays out the case against Trump.

The suit claims that Trump has regularly inflated the value of pretty much all of his assets—from Trump Tower to Mar-a-Lago to the former Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., in order to secure favorable loan and tax arrangements. For example, the suit alleges that Trump has valued Mar-a-Lago as high as $739 million, when it should have been valued at $75 million.

Trump used that higher valuation, James alleges, ”based on the false premise that it was unrestricted property and could be developed for residential use, even though Mr. Trump himself signed deeds donating his residential development rights and sharply restricting changes to the property.”

“Mr. Trump made known through Mr. Weisselberg that he wanted his net worth on the Statements to increase—a desire Mr. Weisselberg and others carried out year after year in their fraudulent preparation of the Statements,” the lawsuit said. “The scheme to inflate Mr. Trump’s net worth also remained consistent year after year.”

James is restricted from pursuing criminal charges in the matter, but is referring her findings “to the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, noting that the conduct detailed in the complaint appears to violate federal law, specifically bank fraud and false statements to a bank.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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