NEW YORK (WABC) — New York Attorney General Letitia James plans to announce the findings of the Trump Organization fraud investigation on Wednesday.
James previously said his office uncovered evidence that former President Donald Trump’s company was using “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations for tax advantages.
“Thus far, in our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic gain,” a- she said in January.
Throughout the 3-year investigation, ‘significant’ evidence has come to light that the company deceived lenders and tax authorities about the value of assets such as golf courses and skyscrapers , according to James’ office.
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The Trump Organization even went so far as to exaggerate the size of Trump’s Manhattan penthouse by saying it was nearly three times its actual size, a discrepancy that makes a difference in value of about $200 million, according to the attorney general’s office.
James’ office said the Trump Organization had carried out these fraudulent practices for more than a decade, all in the name of appearances.
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Trump has denied the allegations, calling James’ investigation ‘racist’ and a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’, and his lawyers say James is using his civilian investigation to gather information that could be used against the former president. in a separate investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Trump against James that claimed the attorney general was targeting him for political reasons.
During a hearing for Trump’s trial, attorney for James’ office said that “there has clearly been a substantial amount of accumulated evidence that could support the filing of enforcement proceedings,” although a final decision on whether to file such an action has not been made.
In May, the attorney general said his office was nearing the end of the investigation and the former president’s deposition was one of the few remaining exhibits.
James filed a lawsuit in August seeking to force Trump and his two eldest children to comply with subpoenas for their testimony.
And although Trump finally testified in August, he pleaded for the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times during the deposition.
Trump announced in a statement that he “refused to answer questions about the rights and privileges granted to every citizen under the Constitution of the United States.”
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you accepting the Fifth Amendment? Now I know the answer to that question,” the statement read. “When your family, your business and everyone in your orbit became the targets of a politically unfounded witch hunt backed by lawyers, prosecutors and the fake media, you have no choice.”
Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. also provided depositions, but it’s unclear whether either pleaded the fifth.
Eric Trump pleaded the Fifth more than 500 times during a deposition in the same investigation in 2020, according to court documents.
Once his findings are complete, the attorney general could decide whether to take legal action against Trump, his company, or both. The attorney general could also seek a ban on Trump and his company from engaging in certain types of activities.
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