In a court filed late Tuesday, investigators said the office “intends to make a final decision as to who is responsible for those inaccuracies and omissions,” adding that “OAG needs the testimony and evidence sought herein to determine which employees and affiliates of the Trump Organization — and which other entities and individuals — may have assisted the Trump Organization and Mr. Trump in making, or have relevant knowledge of, the inaccuracies and omissions in question.”
They write that “witnesses closest to the top of the Trump organization have asserted their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Certain others have claimed to have erroneous memories or claimed they were following instructions from senior employees.”
“But Mr. Trump’s actual knowledge of — and intention to make — of the numerous inaccuracies and omissions made by him or on his behalf are essential components to appropriately and equitably resolve OAG’s investigation said the submission. Likewise, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump worked as Mr. Trump’s agents, acting for themselves and overseeing others in connection with the transactions at issue here; their testimony is also needed for an appropriate resolution of OAG’s research.”
DailyExpertNews has reached out to the Trump Organization and representatives of the Trumps for comment.
Ivanka Trump was a key liaison with lender Deutsche Bank, while Donald Trump Jr. was involved in several properties, including 40 Wall Street, and confirmed the accuracy of the financial statements as of 2017, the attorney general’s office said.
In lengthy court files, investigators said about a dozen current and former Trump Organization employees testified and that Trump personally authorized the production of his tax returns.
“In light of the widespread and repeated nature of the inaccuracies and omissions, it appears that valuations in the Statements were generally inflated as part of a pattern of suggesting that Mr. Trump’s net worth was higher than the other would have been,” the spokesperson said. researchers wrote.
In particular, the New York Attorney General’s office said it is addressing several specific alleged misstatements, including:
- The size of Trump’s Trump Tower penthouse;
- miscategorized assets outside of Trump’s or the Trump Organization’s control as “cash,” exaggerating its liquidity;
- misrepresented the process by which Trump or his associates arrived at valuations, including deviations from generally accepted accounting principles in ways the statements did not disclose;
- Failure to use fundamental valuation techniques, such as discounting future income and expenses to their present value, or choosing as “comparable” only comparable properties to allocate valuations from public sales data;
- misreported the alleged involvement of “outside professionals” in achieving the valuations; and
- Not disclosed that certain valuation amounts were inflated with an undisclosed amount for brand equity.
A claim made by James’s office is that Trump has failed to comply with subpoenas for records. For example, they claim that while Trump did not use email, witnesses learned that Trump kept paper copies of documents and used sticky notes to communicate with employees. They said a filing cabinet related to Trump’s records has never been searched to comply with a subpoena.
“This file was never searched because the Trump organization, improbably, determined that Mr. Trump was not involved in preparing his own financial statements,” they wrote.
James’ office said the allegedly misleading statements were shared with lenders, with insurers claiming that “practically all of the benefits of the misleading valuations went to Donald J Trump.” The office also said it has evidence that Trump may have obtained more than $5 million in federal tax breaks from allegedly misleading valuations obtained from tax breaks taken on the family complex in New York, known as Seven Springs, and the Trump National Golf Course in the United States. Los Angeles. angels.
James’ office has been conducting a civil investigation into the Trump Organization and the accuracy of its financial statements since 2019, which Trump has called a political witch hunt.
A statement in the civil case, they wrote, “is essentially the same as a statement by the DANY, but without the constitutional protections afforded to any witness through the grand jury trial.”
Witnesses called before a New York State Grand Jury are granted transaction immunity for their testimony and cannot be prosecuted unless they lie under oath. James, they argued, is trying to circumvent those rights by seeking the testimony in a civil case, which can then be used by criminal prosecutors. If they don’t testify, a jury can hold that against the defendants in a civil case or reach a negative conclusion.
In Tuesday’s filing, James’ lawyers dismissed the argument, arguing that the Trumps could assert their Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
“Any witness is free to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The exercise of that right by a witness in a civil investigation (or other civil or administrative proceeding) is not uncommon, nor is a denial of a constitutional right,” the writings wrote. the lawyers. .