Former US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Warren, Michigan, the United States, on October 1, 2022.
Dieu-nalio Chery | Reutersm
The New York Attorney General’s Office asked a judge Thursday to ban the former president. donald trump of transferring its businesses to a new holding company that it formed in the midst a pending civil lawsuit charging him, three of his childrenand the Trump Organization of widespread fraud.
That request is prompted by concerns that the attorney general’s office would have difficulty getting Trump to pay a fine, if he loses the lawsuit, as a result of his assets being held by a company not named as a defendant in the case. .
On September 21, the same day that Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump and the other defendants, her office learned that the Trump Organization had registered a new company called “Trump Organization II LLC” with the New York Secretary of State. “. That new company is incorporated in Delaware.
James, who on Thursday accused Trump and the Trump Organization of engaging in an “ongoing fraudulent scheme,” wants Trump to be prevented from moving any material assets to the Trump Organization to another entity without a judge’s approval.
“Beyond the continuation of its earlier fraud, the Trump Organization now appears to be
taking steps to restructure his business to avoid existing liabilities under New York law,” James’ attorneys wrote in a filing with Manhattan Supreme Court.
James in that filing also asked Judge Arthur Engoron to order Trump not to use a new statement of the financial condition of his business in his dealings with lenders and insurers, either to meet existing obligations or to obtain new loans or insurance coverage, without adequately disclosing the assumptions. and methods used to calculate asset valuations.
James is concerned that Trump’s latest financial statement, which includes claims of valuations for a variety of real estate, is based on the same process used to generate previous financial statements that she says are fraudulent.
The attorney general in the new court filing also seeks the appointment of an independent monitor who would oversee Trump’s submission of financial statements to any accounting firm, as well as their disclosure to lenders and insurers.
“There is every reason to believe that the defendants will continue to engage in similar fraudulent conduct until trial, unless verified by an order of this court,” James’ office said in the filing.
And James asked Engoron for permission to serve his lawsuit electronically on Trump and his son Eric Trump, noting that they and their attorneys have for weeks refused to accept service of the lawsuit.
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference at the Attorney General’s office on July 13, 2022 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago | fake images
“Our investigation uncovered the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in significant fraud to inflate his personal net worth by billions of dollars to illegally enrich himself and cheat the system,” James said in a statement.
“Since we filed this sweeping lawsuit last month, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have continued the same fraudulent practices and taken steps to evade responsibility,” James said.
“Today, we seek an immediate end to these actions because Mr. Trump should not play by different rules.”
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement responding to James’ filing: “We have repeatedly assured, in writing, that the Trump Organization does not intend to do anything inappropriate,” Habba said. “This is just another stunt that Ms. James hopes will help her failed political campaign.”
Habba also called the filing “nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to keep this case with Judge Engoron instead of transferring it to the Commercial Division.” [of the court system] where it belongs.”
The Commercial Division of the New York State Courts handles complicated cases involving businesses. Habba, in a September 28 letter to the administrative judge of the Manhattan Supreme Court, requested that the case be reassigned from Engoron to the Commercial Division.
Habba was sometimes irritated by Engoron’s decisions when he was holding hearings related to the James investigation before the lawsuit was filed. In his letter to the ALJ, Habba said James appeared to “shop with the judge” for Engoron to be assigned to handle the suit with prior documents linking the suit to prior litigation involving James’ subpoenas to members of the Trump family.
James’ lawsuit accuses Trump of overstating his net worth by billions of dollars in 11 prior annual statements that were provided to banks, insurance companies, and the IRS for financial gain.
James’ suit seeks at least $250 million in damages and also calls for the Trump companies named in the suit to be permanently barred from doing business in New York state.
When announcing the lawsuit, James revealed that he had asked federal prosecutors and the IRS to investigate Trump for possible federal crimes, saying his office’s nearly three-year investigation had found evidence of possible bank fraud and the crime of preparing false financial statements.
Trump called the lawsuit baseless and “another witch hunt” by James.
He and Habba have also said that the James investigation and lawsuit are politically motivated.
James, who is seeking re-election, is a Democrat whose first campaign for attorney general featured her promising to investigate Trump when he was president.
Trump is a Republican considering whether to run for the White House again in 2024.
This is breaking news. Please check for updates.