NY sues Trump, company, and children over fraud claims
Trump, once again, uses the "witch hunt" claim to slam the New York fraud against him and his children.
In a civil probe into former US President Donald Trump's business activities, the New York State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his adult children on Wednesday for "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation," according to court records.
The complaint, filed in Manhattan state court, accuses the Trump Organization of fraud in preparing Trump's annual financial statements from 2011 through 2021.
The Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump, the former President's daughter, were also listed as defendants.
Letitia James, the attorney general, said Trump and the Trump Organization falsified the value of their property holdings in order to qualify for advantageous loans and tax benefits. James further added that she was referring allegations of criminal wrongdoing to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Internal Revenue Service.
"With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system," James said in a statement.
One of Trump's major legal setbacks, since he left office in January 2021, is the lawsuit. Trump is thinking about running for president once more in 2024.
According to James, who spoke to reporters, she wants the defendants to forfeit all the $250 million in benefits they are believed to have acquired via deception.
Additionally, the lawsuit aims to prevent Trump and his children from running a company in New York and prevent the Trump Organization from conducting real estate transactions.
For more than three years, James has been probing into Trump's business practices in a civil investigation.
The Trump Organization has referred to James' charges as "baseless" and the former President of the United States, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and dubbed James' investigation a politically motivated "witch hunt" given that James is a Democrat.
Earlier on August 10, Trump claimed to have "no choice" but to invoke the Fifth Amendment while asked questions under oath in New York over allegations of fraud in his family business. The Fifth Amendment of the US constitution allows individuals to remain silent to protect themselves against self-incrimination under questioning.
"I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," Trump said in a statement after the questioning, noting that he took advice from his legal counsel.
"When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice," Trump claimed.
The criminal tax fraud investigation by Manhattan's district attorney, Alvin Bragg, into the Trump Organization is distinct from James' civil investigation.
The business is due to go on trial in October for allegedly providing employees with benefits that were not documented. Allen Weisselberg, the organization's former longstanding top financial officer, has admitted guilt and will testify against it.