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Lawsuits & Litigation

New York Lawsuit Accuses Donald Trump of Deceit, Exaggerating Assets

— September 21, 2022

If successful, the lawsuit could bar former President Donald Trump from ever again doing business in New York.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing the former president of lying to lenders and insurance companies by fraudulently exaggerating the value of his assets by billions of dollars.

According to The New York Times, James is seeking to prevent Trump and three of his children—Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka—from doing further business in the Empire State.

If the attorney general has her way, Trump could be permanently blocked from operating any company within New York.

In her 220-page lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, James alleges that Trump’s annual financial statements were a massive “compendium of lies.”

The statements, which include the Trump Organization’s estimates of its assets and holdings, purportedly inflate the value of nearly every one of the company’s marquee properties, including the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump Tower, and 40 Wall Street.

Donald Trump also allegedly refused to consider alternate assessments.

In one such instance, cited in James’s complaint, a bank appraised 40 Wall Street at $200 million. However, Trump then immediately valued the property at twice that amount.

“To the extent Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization received any advice from outside professionals that had any bearing on how to approach valuing the assets, they routinely ignored or contradicted such advice,” the suit said.

New York Attorney General and former city council member Letitia James. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Matthew Cohen. (CCA-BY-2.0).

The lawsuit suggests that Trump routinely made misleading statements to banks, insurance companies, and lenders, purportedly to secure better terms for loans and coverages.

“The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering, affecting most if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year,” James wrote in the complaint.

“All told, Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization, and the other Defendants, as part of a repeated pattern and common scheme, derived more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets included in the 11 Statements covering 2011 through 2021,” the lawsuit says.

“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them,” James said in a statement. “Donald Trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct. 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.”

Trump has since denied any and all wrongdoing, going so far as to accuse James—a Black woman—of engineering a “racist,” politically-motivated lawsuit.

“Another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

“I never thought this case would be brought — until I saw her really bad poll numbers,” Trump added. race. “She is a fraud who campaigned on a ‘get Trump’ platform, despite the fact that the city is one of the crime and murder disasters of the world under her watch!”

While James’s office lacks the authority to pursue criminal charges in this case, she has reportedly forwarded the alleged criminal aspects of the case to state-level prosecutors.


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