May 24, 2022

Trump Organization | Trump company accused of ‘fraudulent’ tax practices

(New York) The legal vice is tightening on Donald Trump: launched in 2019, a vast civil investigation by the New York prosecutor against the family group Trump Organization accuses the former American president and two of his children of “fraudulent” practices. in tax matters for which justice wants to hear them.

Posted at 8:56
Updated at 10:55 a.m.

In a substantiated court document of more than 100 pages and a press release sent very late Tuesday evening, New York State Attorney Letitia James announced “having uncovered significant evidence that suggests that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization have falsely and fraudulently valued a number of assets”. She accuses them of having “poorly estimated the value of these assets with financial institutions in order to derive an economic advantage”.

Mme James, an elected prosecutor and member of the Democratic Party, has been investigating for three years a possible large-scale tax fraud within the Trump Organization, the family group of the 45e President of the United States (2017-2021) and his children.

The assigned Trumps

She thus suspects the Trump Organization of having “fraudulently” overestimated the value of certain properties when it requested loans from banks and of having underestimated these same properties with the tax authorities in order to pay less taxes.


PHOTO MARK LENNIHAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Letitia James has suspected for nearly three years the Trump Organization of having fraudulently overstated the value of certain properties when applying for loans from banks and of having undervalued these same properties with the taxman in order to pay less taxes. .

In late December and early January, the prosecutor summoned the Republican businessman, his son Donald Jr. and his daughter Ivanka to appear under oath. But the Trump family has not responded to the summons and is using all procedural tricks to “break” these subpoenas and delay the civil investigation.

A spokeswoman for Donald Trump, Liz Harrington, replied Wednesday morning on Twitter that “the allegations (by Letitia James) were baseless and would be vigorously opposed”. One of his lawyers, Alina Habba, challenged in a press release sent to AFP the “hard evidence” put forward by the prosecutor.

“Threat to democracy”

The Trump family has for months accused Prosecutor James of “political” motivations and called her investigation a “threat to our democracy.”

But according to excerpts from the court document filed in the New York Supreme Court, Donald Trump had “decision-making power over a wide range of practices at the Trump Organization, including misrepresentations to third parties, including financial institutions.” and the US tax authorities (IRS).

As for her daughter Ivanka, “until January 2017, Mme Trump was the primary contact for the Trump Organization’s largest creditor, Deutsche Bank.” According to M.me James, Ivanka Trump “was responsible for sending Deutsche Bank and the federal (US) state erroneous financial documents”.

Finally, “since 2017, Donald Trump Jr. had authority over numerous documents containing spurious asset estimates”, in particular a suite located in Trump Tower, declared three times larger than its true size and whose value was overstated by $200 million.

game of chess

In this game of chess that she delivers to the Trump clan, Mme James reiterated on Tuesday night that New York’s civil justice system “would not be held back from pursuing this investigation” and that “no one (was) above the law”.

Eric Trump, another son of the Republican billionaire and vice-president of the Trump Organization, was heard by the services of Mme James in October 2020.

Donald Trump is also the target of other investigations in the United States.

He was heard on October 18 in a case in which protesters accuse his security service of molesting them six years ago.

His group is also the target of an investigation led by the Manhattan district attorney on suspicion of financial crimes and insurance fraud.

In July, the Trump Organization and its trusty accountant, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded not guilty in a New York court to 15 counts of fraud and tax evasion. The trial is due to start in mid-2022.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is fighting to avoid having to divulge years of tax returns to prosecutors, while in Washington a special congressional committee is seeking access to White House documents on the attack on the Capitol, January 6, 2021.