Letitia James Notifies Trump Family Over Fraud At Business


New York state Attorney General Letitia James remains undeterred in her effort to hold the Trump family business and the former president himself accountable over years of allegedly wildly deceptive statements of value covering dozens of assets.

Recently, New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in James’s favor after she requested urgent oversight of the Trump business’s finances while a fraud lawsuit she brought moves forward. Although the individual filling the role wasn’t immediately selected, Engoron approved the request for someone to serve as a monitor, with a purview including asset transfers and financial statements. In court ahead of Engoron’s decision, Trump attorney Christopher Kise contested that financial statements were even necessarily imminently forthcoming, and he also alleged a newly formed Trump company called Trump Organization II was for payroll purposes — not moving assets to evade scrutiny and consequences in New York. Kise also tried to undercut the foundation of James’s case, in which the top law enforcement official is seeking the return of $250 million she tied to the false asset valuations.

He alleged a difference between the claimed size of a piece of Trump property and its actual size of tens of thousands of square feet could have arisen from good-faith disagreements. Engoron sounded unimpressed with Kise’s arguments before the hearing concluded, asking pointed questions about the potential for supposedly good-faith disagreements to turn into fraud and opportunities for holding large corporations accountable. Kise also went after the idea that James’s case represents a legitimate interest on the part of the public. James has previously outlined how Trump’s alleged actions eroded the amount of resources available to less financially fortunate individuals. Taking out loan money for which he wasn’t appropriately eligible and benefiting from tax perks in the same category could negatively impact lower-income people.

“In a major victory, a judge has ruled in our favor and ordered Donald Trump and the Trump Organization to immediately stop engaging in fraudulent business practices,” James said on Twitter after Engoron’s ruling. “Time and time again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump cannot evade the law for personal gain. Donald Trump and the Trump Organization cannot move assets to evade liability and an independent monitor will be installed to oversee financial compliance at the Trump Organization. No matter how powerful you are, everyone has to play by the same set of rules.” Trump unsuccessfully attempted to move James’s lawsuit from before Engoron, who has also dealt with disputes in James’s preceding investigation. “Donald Trump and the Trump Organization cannot play by different rules,” James added Sunday. “Fraud is illegal, no matter how powerful you think you are.”