NY AG wants Trump held accountable for 'ongoing fraud' while office conducts investigation

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Thursday, October 13, 2022
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a preliminary injunction as part of her $250 million civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump to stop what she says is his ongoing fraudulent conduct.

On the same day last month that James filed the lawsuit accusing Trump, his three eldest children, and two corporate executives of "staggering" fraud that she "grossly inflated" Trump's net worth, the Trump Organization quietly registered a new entity, Trump Organization 2, according to a new court filing Thursday.

"Our investigation uncovered the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in significant fraud to inflate his personal net worth by billions of dollars to illegally enrich himself and cheat the system," James said.

Investigators suspect that Trump could move assets from his family real estate business to the new entity in an attempt to evade liability posed by the lawsuit, according to the attorney general's motion for a preliminary injunction.

"Since we filed this sweeping lawsuit last month, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have continued those same fraudulent practices and taken measures to evade responsibility," James said. "Today, we are seeking an immediate stop to these actions because Mr. Trump should not get to play by different rules."

The filing also made clear James is concerned that Trump and the other defendants could be using the same alleged "fraud and misrepresentation" as they prepare Trump's financial statements for the current year.

"Indeed, in many areas, the Trump Organization has continued using practices they knew to be improper or fraudulent," the motion said.

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The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to James' newest filing. All of the defendants have previously denied wrongdoing.

The lawsuit accused them of engaging in "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation in the preparation of Mr. Trump's annual statements of financial condition" that overstated the values of nearly every major property in the Trump portfolio over at least a ten-year period.

"These acts of fraud and misrepresentation grossly inflated Mr. Trump's personal net worth as reported in the statements by billions of dollars and conveyed false and misleading impressions to financial counterparties about how the statements were prepared," the lawsuit said.

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"Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization used these false and misleading statements repeatedly and persistently to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, and to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums," said the suit.

In Thursday's motion, James said that nearly a month after she filed her suit, the former president and his son Eric have refused to accept service of the lawsuit. She sought permission to serve them electronically.

In response to the most recent motion Trumps attorney, Alina Habba released a statement:

"The OAG's filing is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to keep this case with Justice Engoron rather than have it transferred to the Commercial Division where it belongs. We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper. This is simply another stunt which Ms. James hopes will aid her failing political campaign."

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