As part of the civil investigation of the New York prosecutor against the Trump family group Organization, launched in 2017, justice suspects Donald Trump and
two of his children of “fraudulent” tax practices.
In a court document supported by more than 100 pages and a press release transmitted very late on Tuesday evening, New York State Attorney Letitia James announced “having unearthed significant evidence that suggests that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization have falsely and fraudulently valued a number of assets”.
Letitia James, an elected prosecutor and member of the Democratic Party, has been investigating for three years into possible major tax fraud within the Trump Organization , the family group of 45e President of the United States (2017-2021) and his children. She suspects the Trump Organization of having “fraudulently” overstated the value of certain properties when applying for loans from banks and of having understated these same properties with the tax authorities in order to pay less taxes.
At the end of December and beginning of 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 on Twitter Wednesday morning that “the allegations were unfounded and would be vigorously opposed”. One of his lawyers, Alina Habba, challenged in a press release the “hard evidence” put forward by the prosecutor.
“Threat to democracy”
The Trump family has accused prosecutor James of “political” motivations for several months and called her investigation a “threat against 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 American tax authorities”.
As for his daughter Ivanka, “until January 2017, she was the primary contact for the Trump Organization’s biggest creditor, Deutsche Bank.” According to Letitia James, Ivanka Trump “was behind the sending to Deutsche Bank and the Federal State [américain] of erroneous financial documents”. Finally, “since 2017, Donald Trump Jr. had authority over numerous documents containing estimates of false assets”, in particular a suite located in the Trump Tower, declared three times larger than its true size and whose value has been overstated by 45 million dollars.
In this game of chess that she delivers to the Trump clan, Letitia James repeated Tuesday evening that the civil justice of New York “would not be hindered in the pursuit of this investigation” and that “no one [n’était] above the law”. Eric Trump, another son of the Republican billionaire and vice-president of the Trump Organization, was heard by the services of Letitia James in October 2020. Donald Trump is also the target of other investigations in the United States. He had been heard on 18 October for a case in which demonstrators accuse his security service of molesting them six years ago.
His group is also under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney on suspicion of financial 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 should open 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.