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Tag: trump organization

Ivanka Trump Tried To Dodge Her Court-Appointed Financial Monitor

Ivanka Trump, daughter and ex-aide of former President Trump, tried and failed to keep her finances — and hers only — away from the prying eyes of a court-appointed financial monitor tasked with scrutinizing the Trump Organization’s transactions and those of entities connected to it, The Daily Beast reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

According to the Beast, Ivanka Trump’s attorneys sent private letters to Justice Arthur Engoron, the New York state judge who ordered the financial supervision in the state’s ongoing lawsuit against the Trump company, asking to be exempt from the monitor’s scrutiny, a step her brothers, Don. Jr. and Eric, didn’t take.

Engoron summarily ignored Ivanka’s private plea and — in a bold ruling on Thursday — said the Trump Organization had just two weeks to provide "a full and accurate description of the corporate structure” to the monitor, retired judge Barbara Jones, giving her a window into the company’s “financial disclosures to any persons or entities."

The Trump family must also provide the judge a 30-day advance notice before moving any assets, Engoron ruled, citing the audacious founding of a Trump Organization II in Delaware, “the shell company capital of the country,” according to the Beast.

New York Attorney General Letitia James requested a monitor to supervise the Trump family company’s finances until her civil suit against the organization — the culmination of her three-year-long investigation into its business practices — goes to trial.

In her over 200-page-long filing, James’ office alleged widespread fraud by Trump, his company, and the offspring he made its executives — participants in an over ten-year-long effort to bloat the former president’s finances to get favorable loan agreements.

Seeking $250 million in penalties from the Trump Organization, in a motion filed last month, James asked for the company to be barred from offloading its assets ashore and conducting any kind of “significant fraudulent and illegal business,” ensuring that “funds are available to satisfy any disgorgement award.”

Ivanka Trump — who has sought to distance herself from her father’s political operations, most recently his announcement of a 2024 presidential bid— is a defendant in James’ suit even though her name hasn’t come up in recent court hearings, the Beast noted.

“I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” Ivanka told Fox News, excusing her absence from her father’s announcement. “I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

In the Trump family’s attempt to stave off Engoron’s ruling via appeal filing, Ivanka’s lawyers made a personal argument to get her off the hook, saying that she had not been involved with the company for over five years.

“Ms. Trump submits this separate affirmation to set forth with specificity the reasons why the trial court erred in including Ms. Trump in the Order in her individual capacity… there was no legal or factual basis to issue the Order against Ms. Trump,” her lawyers argued.

“Ms. Trump has had no involvement for more than five years… Ms. Trump has had no role as an officer, director, or employee of the Trump Organization or any of its affiliates since at least January 2017… NY AG never intended to impose an injunction against Ms. Trump,” the attorneys added.

In her tenure as a White House adviser, Ivanka Trump raised myriad ethics red flags, and as a Trump Organization executive before that, she was — as described by James in a court filing for Ivanka’s refusal to testify in January — a "key player in many of the [Trump company’s] transactions."

Weisselberg Will Testify Against Trump Companies in Reported Plea Deal

Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.

“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”


Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.

Rolling Stone adds that Weiselberg “will say in Manhattan court Thursday that he conspired with several of the ex-president’s companies when he pleads guilty to state tax crimes.”

The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Judge Rejects Motion To Dismiss Charges Against Weisselberg

Attorneys for the Trump Organization have unsuccessfully tried to get the financial case against long-time chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg thrown out, but so far, they haven’t had any luck. And on Friday morning, August 12, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan rejected their motion to dismiss the charges.

In 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged Weisselberg with multiple crimes, including conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. Former President Donald Trump, however, has not been charged with anything in connection with the Manhattan DA’s criminal investigation, which is separate from a civil financial investigation of the Trump Organization being conducted by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

With Merchan having rejected Trump Organization attorneys’ motion to dismiss the charges against Weisselberg, jury selection in his trial is scheduled to being on Monday, October 24.


Law & Crime reporter Adam Klasfeld, in an article published on August 12 following Merchan’s decision, explains, “Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation. These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment.”

Merchan, Klasfeld reports, said he will issue a written explanation for his August 12 ruling.

More than one year and a half after leaving office, Donald Trump continues to be a subject in a variety of investigations — from James to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg to Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the January 6 select committee. Merchan’s ruling comes only four days after the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound in South Florida, where, according to the Washington Post, agents were searching for official White House documents.

Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978 — which was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter and went into effect after President Ronald Reagan’s January 1981 inauguration — official White House and presidential records are considered government property when a former president leaves office and must be handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Trump, of course, is allowed to store as many private documents as he wants at Mar-a-Lago, but the FBI was searching for the possible presence of White House documents that never should have left Washington, D.C. in January 2021, the month of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. And on Thursday, August 11, the Post reported that according to its sources, the documents the FBI was searching for at Mar-a-Lago included “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons.”

Merchan’s ruling also comes the same week in which Trump opted to invoke the 5th Amendment for a deposition in James’ civil probe of the Trump Organization’s finances.

Trump, however, hasn’t been charged with anything in connection with any of these investigations — some of which are criminal, some of which are civil. And of course, the January 6 select committee, started by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2021, doesn’t have the power to bring about any charges; it is comprised of politicians, not law enforcement agents — although it can certainly share evidence it gathers with the DOJ and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” has alleged that the Trump Organization cooked the books when he was working for the ex-president. The next hearing in the Manhattan DA’s Office’s case against Weisselberg is set for September 12.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Cancels Paid Rally To Testify In New York Fraud Case

Former President Donald Trump has canceled an appearance at a paid rally on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina, to testify under oath on the same day -- alongside his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son, Donald Trump Jr. -- in the New York attorney general Letitia James’s probe into his finances, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

The 45th president and a host of prominent conservatives were set to attend the rally, which was organized by the American Freedom Tour, a platform that organizes rally-like events across the United States, according to its website, to celebrate “faith… and God-given American freedoms.”

The American Freedom Tour quietly removed all mention of the mid-July event from its website and cited “unforeseen circumstances” when questioned by news outlets that noticed the mysterious cancellation.

Tickets sold for $9 to $3,955, depending on access to Trump, and the event’s organizers said that it had been postponed and that ticket holders could use their tickets at any other of their tours in the country.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Fox News pundit and fiancee of Trump Jr., Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, Pinal County sheriff Mark Lamb, and far-right political commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza were among a host of Republican personalities that also canceled their appearances at the rally.

The mass cancellation coincided with reports that Trump and two of his children, Trump Jr. and Ivanka, will submit to July 15 depositions by James’s office, which is in the “final phase of her investigation into Mr. Trump and the business practices of his company, The Trump Organization,” the New York Times reported.

Trump and his family had for months prior tried to avoid questioning, arguing through their attorneys that James’s investigation was politically motivated. However, a panel of four judges in the appellate division of the state’s trial court disagreed and compelled the former first family to submit to James’s office’s summons for an interview as part of its probe.

The next American Freedom Tour rally — which, according to its website, is scheduled for August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — will feature the same characters who silently bailed out of Friday’s event. “Come see President Donald J Trump, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump Jr, Dinesh D’Souza, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Sheriff Mark Lamb and many, many more live and in person,” the website promised.

Making paid speeches to supporters is a money-making venture for the former President, and the American Freedom Tour — the brainchild of Chris Widener, a far-right motivational speaker with a trail of bankruptcy filings — has lined Trump’s pocket with substantial proceeds.

However, the ex-president’s earnings did nothing to prevent the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection from taking him to task in its Tuesday hearing. The committee attempted to tie Trump to the extremists who led the attack on the Capitol and accused the former president of witness tempering.

Trump has denied the allegations and derided the congressional panel as partisan and controlled by Democrats.

Major Real Estate Firm Fined For Withholding Trump Documents

The Cushman & Wakefield real estate firm is reportedly being held in contempt of court for its refusal to cooperate with subpoenas in connection with the investigation into its business dealings with the Trump Organization, according to a new ruling from a New York judge.

According to ABC News, the subpoenas had previously been issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office as "part of its civil investigation into how former President Donald Trump and his family business valued their holdings." The firm is said to have provided real estate services for Trump's company for years. Those services include "appraisals and brokerage services" for multiple properties that are now part of the investigative probe being conducted by James' office.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that the firm will face a $10,000 daily fine for each day it continues its refusal to comply. The imposed fines are set to begin on Thursday, July 7.

James has released a statement addressing the ruling as she emphasized the importance of accountability and no one being "above the law."

"Cushman & Wakefield's work for Donald Trump and the Trump Organization is clearly relevant to our investigation, and we're pleased that the court has recognized that and taken action to force Cushman to comply with our subpoenas," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "No person or company, no matter how powerful, is above the law."

A spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield has also responded and indicated that the firm will be filing to appeal the judge's decision.

"The ruling to hold Cushman & Wakefield in contempt demonstrates a failure to understand the extreme lengths Cushman has gone to comply with the Court's order," the company spokesperson said. "We have gone to great expense and effort to quickly identify, collect, review and produce the massive set of documents requested by the OAG, and we have now produced over hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and over 650 appraisals since the last subpoena was issued in February 2022."

"Cushman disagrees with any suggestion that the firm has not exercised diligence and good faith in complying with the Court's order, and we will be appealing this decision," the spokesperson said.

The latest ruling comes months after the attorney general filed a motion to push for compliance from the firm.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Long After Trump's Election Lawsuits Failed, Cash Poured Into His Coffers

The House Select Committee, tasked with probing the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, is detailing how former President Donald Trump invented, disseminated, and cashed in on baseless conspiracies of widespread voter fraud that his senior advisers counseled him weren’t true.

On the precipice of electoral defeat, Trump — seeking to supercharge his fundraising efforts — bombarded his supporters with millions of ominous emails requesting donations for an “Election Defense Fund,” which he said would help him “fight back” against voter fraud engineered by the “left-wing mob.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), a select committee member who played a leading role in the panel’s second day of hearings, detailed the fundraising campaign to the American people.

“We found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for,” Lofgren said in her closing statement for the hearing.

Lofgren argued that the devious fundraising tactic, driven by the Big Lie, allowed Trump to pull off a “big ripoff,” conning his supporters to the tune of $250 million. “So not only was there the big lie, there was the big ripoff,” Lofgren added.

The committee played a video near the end of its second hearing detailing how, between November 2020 and early January 201, the former president sent his supporters up to 25 donation request emails a day, raising falsehoods that judge after judge rejected, including some he appointed.

"Claims that the election was stolen were so successful, President Trump and his allies raised $250 million, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election," said Wick, senior investigative counsel for the committee.

"Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election-related litigation," Wick said. She also said committee lawmakers found out that this PAC, the Save America PAC, gave millions in contributions to pro-Trump organizations.

The select committee trailed the money and outlined its findings: $1 million of the donation pool went to the Conservative Partnership Institute, a charity run by Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. $1 million to the America First Policy Institute, a small organization that hires many former Trump staff and champions the former president’s political vision.

The Trump Organization got $204,857 for the hotels it owned, and the company that ran Trump’s January 6 rally outside the White House, Event Strategies Inc., gulped $5 million.

In an interview with CNN that aired after the hearing, Lofgren disclosed another startling expenditure: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee, got “paid $60,000 for the introduction she gave at the speech on January 6.” According to the Washington Post, Guilfoyle's speaking fee was financed by Publix supermarket heiress and laundered through Turning Point Action, a far-right activist group close to Trump Jr.

Guilfoyle has been under scrutiny for reportedly receiving large payments from third-party companies — remuneration that didn’t need to be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

According to the Washington Post, millions of dollars continued to pour into the Trump campaign coffers even after its last election lawsuits were thrown out of court. The campaign pulled in $62 million in the first half of 2021 and $23 million in the latter part of the year, months after the crash and burn of Trump’s legal efforts.

“People were conned by the former president,” Lofgren told CNN. "It's clear that he intentionally misled his donors, asked them to donate to a fund that didn't exist and used the money raised for something other than what is said," she added.

A spokeswoman for Trump, Liz Harrington, dismissed the select committee’s allegations in her reply to requests for comment, saying that Trump’s "political spending is totally synchronized" with his goal of "fixing our elections," CNN stated in a report.

Trump blasted the allegations made in Monday’s hearing in a 12-page rambling statement, where he didn’t address his fundraising plans but called the select committee a “kangaroo court.”

New York Attorney General's Probe Of Trump Asset Fraud Is 'Nearly Complete'

The office of the New York attorney general, Letitia James, said it has almost completed a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s “nesting doll” assets.

Investigators told a court Monday that they’re waiting to search two cellphones belonging to former President Trump and two computers owned by his longtime assistant Rhona Graff, per CNN.

“The process is near an end,” said Kevin Wallace, senior enforcement counsel in the attorney general's office.

James’ office hired a third-party firm to search Trump Organization’s files, and it found 151 people or entities that may possess documents sought by the office. Still, Wallace stressed the office’s focus on finding the "most important” pieces of information because, under the statute of limitations, the office had until Saturday to file its lawsuit.

Although the tolling agreement with the Trump Organization will end on Saturday, the attorney general’s office could take several weeks to decide how to proceed with its investigation.

On Monday, New York State Judge Arthur Engoron held Trump in civil contempt for an inadequate response to a subpoena by James’ office and slapped the former president with a $10,000 per day fine — a ruling Trump appealed on Wednesday.

"Given the upcoming end of the tolling agreement we will likely need to bring some kind of enforcement action in the near future to preserve our rights," Wallace said.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office agreed to a meeting with Trump Organization’s attorneys to, according to Wallace, flesh out what “appropriate resolutions might look like” in a case that has hung for three years over Trump, who has called James a “racist” and the investigation, a “witch hunt.”

In court filings, the attorney general’s office has said it believes Trump Organization made misleading statements and omissions in its financial statements to lenders and insurers to get tax benefits.

Trump and his children, Ivanka Trump and Trump Jr., have failed to cooperate with investigators and appealed an earlier ruling by the same judge demanding they sit for depositions. However, Eric Trump was deposed in 2020, and he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times.

"The company relies more on its people than its systems," Wallace said to the court, noting that hundreds of entities in the Trump Organization moved millions of dollars around many business units using different accounting systems.

Wallace alluded to Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Florida, purchased for $5 million in 2012, stuffed into a financial statement with $2 billion of club assets, and suddenly valued by the company at $46 million. Investigators are yet to determine where the extra $41 million originated.

"Each of these assets is like a Russian nesting doll," Wallace added.

A lawyer for Trump Organization, Alina Habba, dismissed Wallace’s claims, arguing that the company’s operations mirror “how real estate companies operate."

Trump Children Resisting Subpoenas From New York Attorney General

Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump are refusing to comply with legal subpoenas issued by the New York State Attorney General.

AG Letitia James subpoenaed the Trump siblings last month, but according to ABC News court documents say a “dispute has arisen between the OAG and the Individual Trump Parties regarding the Subpoenas.”

Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump “will file motions to quash the subpoenas as soon as Monday, the filing indicated.”

The subpoenas demand testimony from the adult Trump children in a civil suit filed by James into how the Trump Organization and Donald Trump valued assets. The former president, according to his former attorney Michael Cohen, inflated the value of his real estate holdings when applying for loans or credit, then deflated their value for tax purposes.

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet