NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York Attorney General Letitia James has indicted former President Donald Trump and his three adult children for business fraud.
James says Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and his companies falsely inflated his net worth by billions to get banks to pay his favorable interest rate. James is trying to bar the former president and his children from running a business in New York again. She also wants Trump to repay the $250 million he received.
“This investigation shows that Donald Trump has engaged in illegal conduct over the years to inflate his net worth, defraud banks and the people of New York State,” James said in a news conference. “To claim that you have money you don’t have is not a The art of making a deal. It’s the art of stealing.”
James said there were 200 instances of alleged fraud in the complaint, including claims his home was tripled. She also referred the matter to federal authorities for a criminal investigation.
The alleged crimes include falsifying business records, publishing false financial statements, insurance fraud, conspiracy and bank fraud, James said. The case will also be brought to the IRS.
“They should all be held accountable,” James said. “No one is above the law.”
Last month, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions in testimony related to the James investigation.
Trump’s attorney Alina Haba and New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Longworthy slammed James’ lawsuit.
Longworthy called it “one of the most shameless political propaganda stunts I’ve ever seen in my life.” Haba said the lawsuit “focuses neither on the facts nor on the law — instead, it focuses solely on advancing the attorney general’s political agenda.”
“It is clear that the Attorney General’s Office has gone beyond its statutory authority to spy on transactions that were absolutely free of any wrongdoing,” Haba said.
Longtime company executives Alan Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney were also named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in state court on Wednesday. Weisselberg, a senior adviser to the Trump Organization and former longtime chief financial officer of the company, has pleaded guilty to tax evasion and other charges.
Weisselberg admitted to taking more than $1.7 million worth of tax-free extras — including tuition for grandchildren, free rent for a Manhattan apartment and rentals for luxury cars — and explicitly took some plums off the books.
James wants to permanently ban Weisselberg and McConney from serving as financial heads of any New York company.