New York attorney general Letitia James said her previous civil investigation by the Trump Organization has turned into a criminal investigation.
The revelation of this news means that former President Donald Trump’s company is undergoing a criminal investigation by two state officials, James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civilian in nature. We’re now actively investigating the Trump Organization as a criminal, along with a Manhattan attorney general. “We have no further comment at this time,” James spokesman Fabian Levy said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
One focus of James’ investigation was the appraisal of Seven Springs, a Trump estate’s 212-acre estate in Westchester County, outside of New York City. James’ investigators were trying to determine whether the Trump company provided an accurate valuation of the properties when it served as the basis for the approximately $ 21.1 million in tax deductions for the Custody License Donation for the 2015 fiscal year.
It is unclear if James’s investigation is expanding to include other tax issues, and his spokesperson declined to provide further information.
Vance initially focused on the Trump Organization’s response to the 2016 secret payments that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney and reformer, provided to women who allegedly had ties to Trump. His investigation has since expanded to include a broader review of the company’s dealings, even if the Trump Organization lied to secure credit lines and tax breaks.
In recent months, Vance’s attorneys have been scrutinizing financial transactions between the Trump Organization and the family of Ellen Weiselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, in what appears to be an attempt to get Weisselberg to cooperate with their investigation.
Trump himself is under investigation in Georgia, where the Fulton County Attorney General is investigating the former president’s communications with local officials as part of an effort to alter the results of the November election.
No charges have been brought against Trump or his company employees in any of these investigations, in the latter case.
An after-hours email to Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten was not immediately returned.
CNN previously reported James’s criminal investigation.
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