In a stunning revelation, New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused former President Donald Trump of fraudulently inflating his net worth by at least $3.6 billion a year, far surpassing previous estimates. The bombshell court filing comes as the state's $250 million fraud lawsuit against Trump and his business, the Trump Organization, is set to go to trial. According to James' office, Trump, along with his sons Eric and Donald Jr., allegedly manipulated their net worth to deceive lenders out of "hundreds of millions of dollars." This new allegation exceeds the previous claim made by James that Trump overstated the value of his assets by up to $2.2 billion annually.
Last month, James relied on "undisputed evidence" to support her claims, citing Trump's decade-long history of financial deception on disclosure forms. This evidence included false claims such as Trump's penthouse in Trump Tower being 33,000 square feet when it was actually only 11,000 square feet. However, in the recent court filing, James' office revealed that accounting experts are prepared to testify that the overvaluation of assets by Trump, his family, and his company amounts to "billions more" than previously stated.
The attorney general's new allegations are based on the typical methodologies used by informed buyers and sellers in the real estate market to determine property values. The accusation implies that Trump and his associates intentionally misled lenders and manipulated financial records to secure more favorable interest rates and insurance terms.
Unsurprisingly, Trump's legal team quickly responded to the claims with a filing of their own, dismissing James' lawsuit as a “crusade” against the Trump family. They argued that many of the claims should be time-barred due to the statute of limitations. The filing also criticized James for dragging Trump's children into the legal battle, calling for the court to dismiss the case entirely.
James' office is seeking a pretrial ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron in their favor. They allege that Trump, his family, and his business committed fraud, falsified financial records, and made false entries in business documents. If successful, the lawsuit aims to force Trump to pay back millions in penalties, restrict his ability to run businesses in New York, and prohibit him and his team from purchasing commercial property for several years. Additionally, James has requested the court to sanction Trump's legal team $20,000 for making “frivolous” arguments.
The upcoming courtroom showdown between James and Trump is scheduled for October, with both sides due back in court for a hearing on September 22. This civil lawsuit is separate from the four criminal indictments facing Trump, including charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
As the legal battle unfolds, the allegations surrounding Trump's inflated net worth and fraudulent financial statements cast a shadow over his reputation and business empire. The outcome of this high-profile case could have significant consequences for Trump's future endeavors and potential political aspirations.
themes: Donald Trump New York (state)