New York Attorney General Letitia James has joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s investigation into the Trump Organization, now bringing a criminal element to the case, the AG's office announced.
James said that her office is venturing into the investigation into the former president’s organization, which has been under a civil probe since 2019. Now, the AG is saying that they are now investigating criminal components.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature," James' spokesman Fabien Levy said. "We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment.”
The investigation into the Trump Organization started over whether his company misled lenders and insurance companies about the value of some properties and whether appropriate taxes were paid there.
Among the real estate holdings that James is known to be eyeing is Seven Springs Estate, a 212-acre property in Northern Westchester County, New York.
The Trump Organization reportedly used valuations of Seven Springs to claim an apparent tax deduction of more than $21 million by donating a conservation easement on the property in 2015.
In 2019, the Financial Times noted that Trump purchased Seven Springs for $7.5 million in 1996, but valued it at more than $290 million in 2012.
Forbes magazine said in 2014 that the property was worth less than $19.5 million, citing what were then recent property sales, as well as local realtors and assessors.
In a lengthy statement on his website, Trump railed against the AG’s investigation, calling it corrupt and “an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime.”
“The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into ‘every aspect’ of my real estate dealings,” he said. "She swore that she would ‘definitely sue’ me."
Trump further accused James of making up false stories, defending himself by claiming that documents “all prepared by large and prestigious law and accounting firms, have been examined, and many hours of testimony have been taken from many people, some of whom I have not seen in years.”
Trump said that Democrats are working against him in a “political and partisan Witch Hunt.”
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