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NY Attorney General Letitia James Announces Lawsuit and Criminal Recommendations Against Donald Trump for Fraud, Conspiracy to Violate State Laws

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Sep. 21 2022, Published 11:46 a.m. ET

New York Attorney General Letitia James made a surprise announcement late Tuesday that she would be holding a press conference early Wednesday to make a "big announcement."

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The AG's office has been investigation Donald Trump's Trump Organization for possible fraud.

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NY AG Letitia James Makes Huge Announcement

James announced today that they are filing a lawsuit against Trump for violating the law "as part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family, and his company."

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Trump "falsely inflated his net worth by millions of dollars" to enrich himself and "cheat the system."

James also implicated Trump's children; Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump Jr as well as others.

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James says "repeatedly, persistently inflated the value of assets" to induce banks to lend on more favorable terms than would otherwise be available, to pay lower taxes, and to "satisfy continuing loan agreements" among other illegalities.

James called the behavior criminal, and said she believes it also violates federal law. They have recommended the investigation to the Southern District of New York and IRS to consider federal criminal charges.

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James recommended remedy include permanently barring Trump and his children "from serving as officer or director in any corporation or similar entity registered or licensed in New York." James added that they will also, "bar Mr Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York state commercial real estate acquisition or applying for loans in New York for 5 years."

James laid out a case where Trump repeatedly approved dishonest statements concerning the value of the Trump Organization.

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Remedy will include a $250 million fine.

The New York Attorney General Has Been Investigating Possible Fraud in the Trump Organization for Years

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To go back to the beginning of this investigation, you have to track back an impressive three years.

It all started in 2019 as the New York Attorney General pledged to get to the bottom of what she believed to be fraud rampant in the Trump Organization.

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Since then, James' office has collected hundreds of documents and spoken to dozens of witnesses, looking to get a clear picture of whether or not the Trump Org business practices violated the law.

In the end of August, legal experts shared that they believed James' office was dropping hints that the investigation was nearing its end. Vanity Fair, on August 25, predicted an end "within 4 to 6 weeks" which seems to have borne out exactly. Per VF, "In addition to assembling its own civil case, James’s office has been assisting in the criminal probe of Trump and the Trump Organization conducted by the Manhattan district attorney. That front seemed to have reached a near dead end last February, when two senior prosecutors quit in protest of what they said was DA Alvin Bragg’s decision not to seek an indictment of Trump on charges of allegedly inflating his assets in financial statements. One large impediment to bringing charges was the refusal of the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, to implicate his longtime boss. Last week, however, Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies, and he is expected to testify in the DA’s criminal fraud case against the Trump Organization, which is scheduled to begin on October 24."

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A top lawyer for New York State has already rejected at least one settlement offer made by Trump's legal team, showing that the state is ready to play hardball.

The Independent writes, "During the course of her probe into the Trump Organization, Ms James has alleged that Mr Trump inflated or devalued the value of his properties in paperwork to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks or bank loans.

Ms James has said in previous court filings that her office has found evidence of possible fraud, reported ABC News."

James' announcement marks a stunning development in the three-year probe, one which Trump's team will have a chance to respond to soon.

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