Manhattan DA Issues Multiple Subpoenas In Trump Criminal Probe

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None of ex-President Donald Trump’s belligerent complaints about investigations that he has faced have stopped Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from continuing his own criminal investigation into the Trump family business. Now, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, Vance’s office has issued new subpoenas to people involved in the Trump business’s Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York, and Vance’s office has also requested recordings of relevant local government meetings from local authorities. The new subpoenas went to land-use lawyer Charles Martabano and engineer Ralph Mastromonaco.

Vance is investigating the Seven Springs estate, among other areas of the Trump family business, over possible fraud. Specifically, the Trump Organization is suspected of potentially fraudulently inflating its valuation of the Seven Springs estate in hopes of securing financial benefits. The Trump business has valued the property at up to $291 million — but, as the Journal summarized, Trump “valued the property at between $25 million and $50 million on financial-disclosure paperwork filed when he was president.” There is a big difference between nearly $300 million and somewhere between $25 and 50 million.

Recently, after a lengthy court struggle over the documents, Vance’s office received troves of Trump’s financial records, including his tax returns. Vance’s office received these documents after an order from the U.S. Supreme Court in his favor. It was the second time that the nation’s highest court considered the case, and both times, the court ruled against Trump.

Meanwhile, “Mastromonaco confirmed he had received a subpoena and said he had given the district attorney’s office materials including communications with others involved in the project,” according to the Journal. The recordings that Vance’s office requested covered planning board meetings in Bedford, New York, which is one of three local towns containing some of the Seven Springs property. As summarized by the Journal, “Prosecutors’ interest in the local planning process could relate to the property’s valuation, and whether it was improperly inflated on financial documents.”

Late last year, Vance’s office sent different subpoenas to Bedford and the adjacent towns of North Castle and New Castle. In that instance, prosecutors sought “information about tax assessments, town communications and planning-board minutes,” the Journal summarizes. The towns submitted the information in question to Manhattan prosecutors, helping the investigation continue over Trump’s protests.

Trump initially planned projects including a golf course and subdivision for Seven Springs, but neither of these projects panned out. In 2015, the Trump Organization placed 158 acres of the Seven Springs property in a conservation easement, and an appraisal from the following year valued the property’s easement in particular at $21.1 million. For their 2015 taxes, the ex-president’s business claimed that entire valuation as a tax deduction, although it’s almost at the level of the valuation for the entire property, easement and all, that Trump claimed while in office as president.