New York Attorney General Letitia James announced late on Tuesday night that her office is no longer pursuing just a civil case against the Trump Organization and that the matter has now evolved into an active “criminal” investigation.
“James’ office is working with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s Office, whose wide-sweeping probe into the Trump Organization has looked into whether the company misled lenders and insurance companies about the value of properties and whether it paid the appropriate taxes,” CNN reported. “For the past two years, James’ office looked into matters including whether or not it improperly inflated assets on financial statements to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits, as well as how Trump Organization employees were compensated.”
James’ office confirmed in a statement that its investigation into the Trump Organization was now criminal in nature.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the Organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” James’ office said in a statement. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment.”
Legal representatives for the Trump Organization had not issued any kind of a statement in response to the announcement from James’ office.
“Vance began looking into Trump and his company in 2018 after former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in connection with paying off an adult film actress who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump. James’s investigation began months later in early 2019,” The Washington Post reported. “Vance’s investigation into Trump and his company has heated up in recent months. His office obtained eight years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns along with related attachments — amounting to millions of pages of records. Forensic accountants and other analysts have been pouring through the documents.”
The Post noted that it was unclear why the New York Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney had teamed up on the case because “partnerships between the two New York law enforcement offices are rare.”
“In late 2019, James scored a legal victory against Trump when a judge ordered him to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit by the attorney general’s office alleging that he had misused his Trump Foundation, a charity, to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, along with other unlawful activity for more than a decade,” CNBC reported. “The Trump Foundation previously had agreed in December 2018 to dissolve and to donate its remaining funds to charity as the AG’s probe into the foundation continued.”
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