Former U.S. president Donald Trump speaks in support of candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, September 3, 2022.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday sued former President Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, three of his adult children, and others for allegedly widespread fraud involving false financial statements related to the company.
The civil lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court seeks at least $250 million in damages, and seeks to bar Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer of a company in New York.
James also said that she was referring evidence obtained in the course of a three-year investigation to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, as well as to the Internal Revenue Service, saying she believed it showed violations of federal criminal laws.
“Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars,” James said at a press conference. She also noted that he had falsely claimed that his apartment in Manhattan was more than triple its actual size as part of the fraud.
James said Trump grossly overstated the values of his assets to obtain more favorable loan and insurance terms for his company, as well as to lower its tax obligations.
The complaint says that Trump’s personal financial statements “for the period 2011 through 2021 were fraudulent and misleading in both their composition and presentation.”
“The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering, affecting most if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year. All told, Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization, and the other Defendants, as part of a repeated pattern and common scheme, derived more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets included in the 11 Statements covering 2011 through 2021.”
Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba, in a statement, said, “Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law – rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda.”
“It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place,” Habba said.
“We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”
James’ office interviewed more than 65 witnesses and reviewed millions of documents part of the investigation, the lawsuit said.
Read the lawsuit against Trump and others here.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.