In a new development in the ongoing legal battles surrounding former President Donald Trump, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused Trump of overvaluing his net worth by billions of dollars over the course of a decade. The allegations were made in a filing seeking a partial summary judgment in the office's lawsuit against Trump and members of the Trump family, claiming that they orchestrated a fraudulent scheme related to property valuations and financial statements.
According to the filing, Trump overstated his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion each year from 2011 to 2021. The attorney general's office is seeking $250 million in damages and sanctions that would significantly impact the Trump Organization's operations in New York, as well as the business prospects of Trump's children, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. The case is set for trial in October, but James' office is requesting a ruling on certain fraud allegations before proceeding to trial.
The attorney general's office argues that there is substantial evidence to support their claims and that a trial is unnecessary to determine that Trump and his associates inflated asset values in order to defraud banks and insurers. They contend that Trump's statements of financial condition were false or misleading throughout the period under investigation and were used in business transactions. The office maintains that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their case.
Trump's legal team has yet to respond to the latest filing. However, in their own motion, they argue that the entire case should be dismissed based on a recent appellate court decision that could limit the scope of the lawsuit due to a legal time limit. They claim that many of the loans in question were obtained too long ago for the matter to be considered by a court.
Both sides have filed for summary judgment, with James seeking a ruling on the fraudulent financial statements and Trump's lawyers seeking to dismiss the case altogether. If James is successful, it could significantly impact the trial and increase her chances of winning on the remaining claims. However, if Trump wins partial summary judgment, it could diminish the significance of the trial.
The lawsuit filed by James challenges the valuation of Trump's properties, including Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower. The filing alleges that Trump Tower was overvalued by nearly $175 million in 2018 and fraudulently boosted by nearly $323 million the following year. The attorney general's office argues that the financial statements submitted by Trump to obtain loans for various projects, such as a golf resort in Miami and hotels in Washington and Chicago, were also misleading.
Trump's lawyers, on the other hand, argue that the transactions in question should be excluded from the case, citing the recent appellate court ruling. They contend that the loans for the Chicago hotel and Florida resort were negotiated before the legal deadline of July 2014. They also argue that the lenders did not heavily rely on Trump's financial statements when issuing loans and that they profited from their dealings with the former president.
In addition to the lawsuit brought by James, Trump is facing multiple criminal cases. He recently surrendered to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, where he and 18 others are accused of racketeering in connection with their alleged attempts to overturn the state's 2020 presidential election results. He has entered not guilty pleas in various cases, maintaining his innocence and accusing prosecutors of political bias.
As the legal battles continue to escalate, the outcome of the civil trial in New York in October will be closely watched. It will not only determine the potential penalties and sanctions against Trump and his family but could also set a precedent for the other criminal cases he is facing.
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