Another Subpoena Announced In Criminal Probe Of Donald Trump

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During some of ex-president Donald Trump’s earliest days in office, his personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, was brought to court on charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate. At least two of those crimes, he said in court, were done “at the direction of” and for the benefit of “Individual One,” Donald J. Trump.

The Southern District of New York is investigating those claims, opening an inquiry several months ago into potential tax and insurance fraud by the Trump Organization. As that investigation continues, Cohen has already confirmed that he’s been questioned by prosecutor Cy Vance and others on the investigative team. Now, a property tax agency used by Trump is also being forced to answer a subpoena.

‘Along with information already subpoenaed from creditors, the tax agency documents would help investigators determine whether Trump’s business inflated the value of his properties to secure favorable terms on loans while deflating those values to lower tax bills for those same properties.’

Cohen alleged that Trump would routinely inflate the value of his properties on documents when seeking loans but devalue them at tax time to avoid paying the full amount of property and income taxes, a crime under federal law. Although tax agencies are generally held to strict standards of disclosure, a subpoena will force them to turn over records and allow for a fuller picture of what Cohen says Trump did to make and save money.

‘The subpoena likely would compel the agency to provide detailed income and expense statements the Trump Organization would have filed as part of an effort to lower tax assessments on some of its commercial properties, according to people familiar with the commission’s operations. Trump’s holdings include Trump Tower and Trump Plaza.’

Although suspicions over what the investigation is focused on, at this point, are based on previous statements made by Vance, he is not currently speaking publicly about its ongoing pursuits. However, it isn’t difficult to guess based on Cohen’s accusations and statements made by Vance in court that Trump is facing a whole new world of legal troubles.

‘Vance has not commented specifically on the focus of his investigation but noted in court filings that his office is exploring “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization, including possible falsification of records as well as insurance and tax fraud.’