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New York Attorney General Letitia James Targets Real Estate Firm That Helped Trump

New York’s attorney general is seeking further evidence from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield for allegedly playing a role in helping former President Donald Trump inflate property values.

On Friday, Attorney General Letitia James asked a state judge to enforce two subpoenas for evidence her investigators have not yet received from the company. The documents they sought were part of her office’s investigation against the Trump Organization, which allegedly falsified business records to engage in bank fraud and tax fraud.

Investigators want to scrutinize the relationship between the Trump Organization and Cushman & Wakefield to see if the real estate company was actively involved or tacitly involved in an alleged scheme to seek valuations. property value. AG’s office also wants to find out how the real estate company rates other projects compared to how Trump’s projects have been handled.

Specifically, the attorney general’s attorneys are looking into Cushman & Wakefield’s role in valuing and financing Trump’s neo-Gothic skyscraper at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, as well as the Seven Forest Springs resembles his Bruce-Wayne north of the city, and Pacific Coast Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles.

According to a court filing on Friday, the real estate company complied with two subpoenas for information in 2019. But the company has yet to turn over the evidence after receiving the subpoenas last month. 9 years ago — or a subpoena they received this past February.

Cushman & Wakefield’s willingness to play ball against questionable valuations for those properties was highlighted in AG’s stunning court filing in January, when it described “substantial evidence” of conduct cheat.

For example, documents obtained by investigators show that a team of appraisers at Cushman & Wakefield valued the Trump Organization’s stake in the Wall Street tower at $200 million in 2010, then increased it to $200 million. $220 million in 2012. When the Trump Organization tried to do it again. Its bank loan with Capital One on more favorable terms by claiming that the value of their shares doubled just three years later to $550 million in 2015, Capital One refused to do so. do an agreement. But according to investigators, then-CFO Allen Weisselberg of the Trump Organization simply turned to his son, Jack Weisselberg, the director of financial firm Ladder Capital. According to investigators, Ladder was soon using the team of the same name at Cushman & Wakefield.

Documents obtained by the AG office also show that Trump’s second son, Eric, hired the real estate company in June 2015 to appraise the Seven Springs estate. The company determined that the property was worth $56.5 million shortly before Trump awarded development rights on a large portion of that land. The move grants Trump $21 million worth of tax breaks.

“The [Office of the Attorney General] identified evidence that the March 2016 appraisal was based on questionable assumptions that indicated significant misrepresentation and omissions — such as even a $56.5 million valuation in the past. That appraisal has also been unwarrantedly inflated,” New York government lawyers wrote in court papers in January.

Neither Cushman & Wakefield nor its attorneys immediately responded to a request for comment.

The real estate company severed ties with the Trump Organization in the days following the January 6, 2021 uprising, just as Trump was facing impeachment for directing a MAGA mob to march on the U.S. Capitol. Ky.

Friday’s AG’s filing is part of the office’s broader effort to compel companies and residents to submit more evidence in what could be the final stages of a years-long investigation. Just a day earlier, James’s lawyers had asked the judge to force Trump himself to pay $10,000 a day as punishment for refusing to hand over certain documents.

New York State Judge Arthur F. Engoron has said he will consider those penalties at trial later this month.

The Trump Organization and its former chief financial officer, Weisselberg, have been indicted for tax fraud in a parallel criminal investigation run by the Manhattan District Attorney. However, that investigation is losing key prosecutors and does not appear to be unraveling.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-york-attorney-general-letitia-james-targets-real-estate-firm-that-helped-trump?source=articles&via=rss New York Attorney General Letitia James Targets Real Estate Firm That Helped Trump

Russell Falcon

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