State attorney general sues Donald Trump for his ‘art of the steal’

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Former President Donald Trump

NEW YORK – State Attorney General Letitia James Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, senior management, and involved entities for engaging in years of alleged financial fraud to obtain a number of economic benefits.

The lawsuit alleges the former president, with the help of his children Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and senior executives at the Trump Organization falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would other wise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and to gain tax benefits, among other things.

The suit alleges that Trump and the Trump Organization knowingly and intentionally created more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets on his annual statements of financial condition to defraud financial institutions.

As a consequence of those alleged violations, James is seeking to permanently bar Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in the state; bar Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years; and award disgorgement of all financial benefits obtained through the persistent fraudulent practices, estimated to total $250 million.

“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them. Donald Trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct,” said Attorney General James.  “With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system. In fact, the very foundation of his purported net worth is rooted in incredible fraud and illegality. Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends. There are not two sets of laws for people in this country; we must hold former presidents to the same standards as everyday Americans. I will continue to ensure that no one is able to evade the law, because no one is above it.”