The Attorney General’s Office noted that the Trump Organization has discreetly registered a new entity–Trump Organization II–which prosecutors believe the former president may be using to evade potential penalties.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a preliminary motion against former President Donald Trump, who she has accused of engaging in fraudulent business practices.
According to ABC News, the Trump Organization already appears to have prepared itself for an imminent
collapse: shortly after James filed her $250 million lawsuit in September, the Trump Organization registered a new entity, Trump Organization II.
Investigators from James’s office believe that Trump may attempt to move assets from his long-standing family restate business to Trump Organization II in an effort to avoid—or potentially evade—financial liability and fallout.
In documents submitted to court on Thursday, James suggested that the formation of Trump Organization II is a blatant attempt to circumvent its legal obligations.
“[The] Trump Organization now appears to be taking steps to restructure its business to avoid existing responsibilities under New York law,” the filings said.
James, notes ABC News, also appears concerned that Trump and the other defendants—including several of his adult children–may be engaging in the same alleged “fraud and misrepresentation” as they prepare the former president’s financial statements for the current year.
Trump, for instance, appears to have valued Mar-a-Lago—his Florida estate and current residence—without regard for any of the existing restrictions on the property.
Similarly, Trump seems to be treating an estimated $93 million in cash, held in joint partnership with the Vornado Realty Trust, as his own personal account.
“Indeed, in many areas, the Trump Organization has continued using practices they knew to be improper or fraudulent,” the motion said.
However, Trump’s legal team have fired back against the latest round of allegations, claiming that James’s office is filing motions to keep the lawsuit in a friendly Northeastern court.
“[The 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,” said Trump attorney Alina Habba.
“We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper,” Habba said in a media statement. “This is simply another stunt which Ms. James hopes will aid her failing political campaign.”
Nevertheless, James’s office maintains that Trump is continuing to inflate his net worth for self-gain.
“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 in a press release. “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. Today, we are seeking an immediate stop to these actions because Mr. Trump should not get to play by different rules.”